Vice-President Afif visits Nisa

Vice-President Afif visits Nisa
Vice-President Afif visits Nisa

Africa-Press – Seychelles. Vice-President Ahmed Afif yesterday afternoon visited the National Information Services Agency (Nisa) comprising the editorial section based in town opposite the Amusement Centre and the printing unit at Bois de Rose.

The aim of the visit was for the vice-president, who holds the portfolio for information, to learn of the successes, constraints and challenges of the agency, and to interact with staff.

It was his first visit to the agency since coming into office in the new administration.

The visit started at the editorial section and he was met on arrival by the chief executive, Gerard Govinden, the board chairperson, Kurtis Lespoir and other Nisa management staff and board members.

The Nisa town office houses the sales and marketing, the driver’s quarters and the photographic unit on the ground floor and the newsroom, the finance department, the production unit and the documentation centre, among other offices, on the first floor.

The office at Bois de Rose, referred to as Nisa Press, houses the secretariat and the printing unit.

Apart from seeing the state and conditions of the two buildings, and familiarise himself with the day-to-day running of the operations, including the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Seychelles NATION newspaper production, among other products, Vice-President Afif also had lengthy discussions with staff in the various sections on their work environment and conditions.

His visit at the Nisa ended with a meeting with the management and board members at the Bois de Rose office.

In an interview with the media, Mr Govinden stated that the main constraint for Nisa is the lack of space to accommodate staff and the conditions of its two buildings, especially the one in town which apart from being dilapidated, is location for undesirable activities both during day and night times.

Mr Govinden said the discussion with Vice-President Afif focused on the need to have a more convenient place that would house both the editorial and printing units and Nisa was finalising a draft proposal to better house the agency.

“It was therefore an honour to welcome the vice-president at the agency as it has given him an idea of the working conditions and the procedures that staff have to endure daily to produce the newspaper.

Everything is not defined for now but said he will table our request to the government and see how best it can help us.”

With regard to the need to employ more staff especially for the news section, Mr Govinden said this remains a constant need but is based on the agency’s budget.

“The intention is to have more staff but you have to remember that Nisa does not get a budget from government, and we do pay taxes. So we have to work within our budget,” added Mr Govinden.

Nisa was created on May 3, 2010 as a non-budget dependent agency. Its core function is to publish the Seychelles NATION newspaper. The agency employs around 50 staff including part-timers.

While visiting the newsroom, the staff also put forward the difficulty to access information from ministries and government organisations and the vice-president stated it should be made known to him to take action as “it is not our intentions to hide or not to give any information. At times it could be that people who are supposed to give information do not feel comfortable before the media but like you, I believe in giving out information, information that is balanced and correct for people to know as much as possible what is going on. Even if it’s good or bad you have to tell. On my side I pledge my full support to ensure that you do have access to information.”

The accompanying photos show some highlights of Vice-President Afif’s visit to Nisa’s different sections and units.

Patrick Joubert

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