On June 16th 2022, the Managing Director of UBA Sierra Leone, Usman Isiaka had the honour to deliver a Keynote speech on Media Visibility and the Opportunities that exist in the banking sector at the triennial meeting of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists at the UNIMAK Auditorium, Fatima Campus Makeni.
During his speech, MD established that freedom of the press has significant implications for the evolution and development of an economically viable and independent media in any society.
“Freedom of the press must be guaranteed not only as one of the very fundamentals of Democracy as posited by Franklin Roosevelt but a condition sine qua non absolutely necessary for social-economic development of nations,” said MD Usman Isiaka.
He however highlighted that press freedom as a human right, goes with responsible practice. He noted that media houses that make false reporting and downright telling of lies to advance their own agenda as their modus of Operandi will never be economically viable in the long run and will undoubtedly soon meet their demise! He further stated that journalism is a prestigious profession, Journalists should therefore strive to maintain professionalism at all times because public trust hinges greatly on the practice.
“No bank will like to lend money to a media organisation that is frequently being taken to court for libellous publications.” He reaffirmed.
Noting the Bank’s positive relationship with the media, MD Usman Isiaka acknowledged that the UBA Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, strongly believes in the power of the media and its positive role in propelling the Pan African Agenda of the UBA Group.
He stated that as a result of this, UBA Sierra Leone has been contributing significantly to the development of the media in Sierra Leone which is also a clear demonstration of why he was serving as the keynote speaker of the event.
“We currently run Top-strips adverts on 20 local newspaper front pages, which we humbly take credit for. Perhaps no bank is doing that much now in the country. We give radio jingles to a good number of radio stations, all the major TV Stations are running our TV commercials” said MD Isiaka.
MD Isiaka rounded off his speech by thanking the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Mr Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, and his entire Executives for extending an invitation to UBA as he said the bank would continue to be a media development partner