The momentum has continued to rise for the sixth annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) as more corporate partners have lent their support for the event scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 2022, at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The chairman, 2022 Conference Committee, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, revealed on Monday, September 26, that the latest partners comprised Delta State and Lagos State, in addition to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Chevron Nigeria Limited, and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
A press statement by GOCOP Publicity Secretary, Remmy Nweke, also quoted Ugbechie as saying that others are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Access Bank Plc, Unity Bank plc and Globacom.
This year’s theme, Ugbechie noted, would focus on “2023 Elections: Managing the Process for Credible Outcome” with the keynote speaker being the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while the chairman of the day would the founder, Centre for Alternative Policy Perspectives and Strategy (CAPPS), Dr. Umar Ardo.
Whereas the Panellists, he said, include human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa; former Inspector General of Police, Dr. Solomon E. Arase; and Dr. Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye, Regional Director, Ford Foundation (West Africa).
Before now, GOCOP 2022 conference had announced earlier partnerships with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc.), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as the First Bank Plc, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, The Presidency, Wema Bank, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), etcetra.
Further, Ugbechie assured that this year’s conference slated to hold barely five months to the 2023 general elections provides a roadmap for political actors and the various publics on the need to play by the rules and conform to acceptable electoral behaviour.
Highlight expected at this year’s conference, he said, is a business luncheon with GOCOP partners on Wednesday, October 5, at the same venue.
Former speakers at GOCOP conferences include Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, who took podium in 2019 to lecture on “Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward”. In 2021, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, keynoted the Conference in his capacity as Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19. He spoke on: “Post Covid-19 Pandemic: Recovery and Reconstruction in Nigeria.”
“The Guild was established to ensure that online publishers uphold the tenets of journalism in doing their jobs and our membership is a constellation of Editors and senior journalists who, having distinguished themselves in their various stations, ventured into online publishing which is both the present and future of journalism globally,” Ugbechie recollected.
He stressed that the conference is therefore a fitting platform for the distillation and sharing of ideas from a carefully chosen array of resource persons cutting across the entire socio-political ecosystem.
“GOCOP intends to use the opportunity of the conference to moderate the already tense political climate as well as to proffer solutions to current and anticipated challenges arising from the elections,” Ugbechie added.