As part of its efforts to build an integrated, effective and viable media structure for the Catholic Church in Nigeria, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, through the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN has mapped out plans to work with the different Catholic media organs that are available in the country. Disclosing this during a courtesy visit to Lumen Christi Catholic Television, Lekki, Lagos, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria said the Bishops are working towards synergizing the Catholic media apostolate in Nigeria. According to the CSN Director, they will go round the nation, to visit the different media structures or organs that are available, so that the media organs will not be putting out lonely efforts. He said: “I have been to Awka already, and of course, I have visited Abuja. In scale and in every way, we think Lumen Christi is one that must be visited very, very soon, in view of the enormous work you are doing here.
“The Bishops send their greetings which I expressed on their behalf during the seventh anniversary celebration of Lumen Christi TV, just about a month ago. Happy anniversary.” He commended Prince Soji Olagunju, Founder, Lumen Christi and his team, for their perseverance and tenacity. Which he said is a great mark of faith. He said the Bishops are grateful for the role Lumen Christi played during the lockdown, when it was almost as if the shepherds were cut off from their flock. “Lumen Christi was just there, and filled that lacuna very, very efficiently and effectively. It gave voice to the Bishops, particularly, what came out from Lagos was able to feed the flock, who were mostly locked in their different homes. They said I must mention that to you, that that particular service is very much appreciated, besides all that you have been doing”, he said. He congratulated the Lumen Christi team for growing to the point of being on DSTV, adding that for people in Nigeria DSTV is the number one satellite channel.
He said: “That’s where most people are. The other efforts you have made whether for GOtv or for Startimes, is part of the indictment on us, on the fact that we don’t really seem to have our media researches done, to know where our audience is, indeed, the Catholic audience. “That is the type of thing you should be asking us from the national office, for guidance, for direction; this is what we are planning because no matter how, the business aspect of all these things; the commercial aspect has to be considered. When the commercial aspect is properly put in place, definitely, it will lessen the burden of the task of financing, even if we get fund or we are using our fund. He assured the Lumen Christi Founder that he is not alone in the task, adding that the Bishops are with him. While urging Prince Olagunju to keep close to National Communications office, he added that there are things to work out, and effort will need to be coordinated for the bishops to come in. Fr. Umoh disclosed that one issue that will drive traffic to any channel is content, adding that once the content is good, driving channel will not be a problem, and consequently, funding will not be a problem.
“We have no much problem with the network operators, those operating the platform because I know too, it’s not just enough to pay money, if the traffic on the channel is not enough, which they can verify and know, they have the right to yank us off, and we will not want that to happen for any reason”, he said. In his reaction, Prince Soji Olagunju, Founder/CE, Lumen Christi Catholic TV Network gave thanks to God for the initiatives of the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria on whose behalf and also in his capacity as the National Director of Communications visited the TV Station. On the Directors visit, Prince Olagunju said: “The National Director of Communications came to convey the greetings, goodwill and appreciation of the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria for our humble contributions to the growth and deepening of the Faith in the continent of Africa. “The Director solicited for our cooperation, and a great level of synergy among all Catholic media practitioners, having acknowledged the great role we are playing in this regard and which necessitated the visit. “We appreciate in no small measure this visit and firmly believed the initiative will further encourage us in the discharge of our duties to the Mother Church, as a viable means of digital evangelization. We wish Very Rev. Fr. Umoh a successful tenure in sound health of mind and body, knowing that he is ever so willing to deploy his several years of experience in bringing about tremendous changes and improvement in the practice of Catholic social communication and evangelization.