NUJ reiterates demand for FG bailout of media industry

Posted by News Express | 18 April 2021 | 546 times

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•NUJ National President Chris Isiguzo

 

By GARBA MUHAMMAD, Kaduna

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has reiterated its earlier position that a vibrant and independent media is germane in a democracy and as such it should be jealously guarded and protected.

In a communique issued on Saturday, rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Asaba, Delta State, NUJ recalled a letter written in May last year to President Muhammadu Buhari appealing for a bailout fund for the media, primarily because of the Covid-19 Pandemic which has affected the global economy.

“NEC in session once more appeals to the Federal Government to urgently intervene to save the Media Industry from collapse,” the communique signed by Shuaibu Usman Leman Walin Shadalafiya and National Secretary of NUJ, emphasised.

The continuous non-payment of salaries of journalists by some media owners was again reviewed by the meeting and NEC believes that this negative trend has continued to impact negatively on the practice of journalism.

The highest decision body of the union called on media owners who owe journalists to discharge their obligations in this respect, responsibly and as when due.

It said: “A situation where some journalists are made to work for months without any salary is an aberration and should be condemned.

“Having taken due cognisance of the immense contributions and efforts of  the National President Chris Isiguzo and his team towards moving the Union forward despite all odds, NEC also passes a vote of confidence on him and his lieutenants.

“In reviewing the contributions of TETfund to tertiary education over the years, NEC commends the Management of the intervention agency led by Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro of doing an excellent job.

“NEC however appeals for injection of sufficient funds into TETfund to ensure a complete overhaul of the Nation’s tertiary education system.

“NEC believes that increase in tax collection would translate to more funds to finance projects in our tertiary institutions, thereby improving education quality.”

On security challenges, NEC urged the Federal Government to rejig the Security apparatus to enable it effectively tackle these challenges, especially the insurgency in the North East, banditry and kidnappings, cattle rustling and other forms of criminality that have assumed dangerous dimensions, thereby making free movement of people, goods and services from one part of the country to another a difficult challenge.

To further strengthen the security architecture, NEC also called on the FG to accede to the clamour for State Police to bolster the security system.

The meeting while looking at the challenges of banditry in the Northwest, applauded the approach of the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle in the handling of the security situation in the State that has brought some form of respite and peace.

NEC encouraged more of such positive engagements as a means of eradicating such heinous acts by gangs.

It however regrets the unprovoked killing of Nigerian soldiers while on assignment to help restore peace in some warring communities in Benue State and calls for proper investigation to fish out the culprits.

The meeting cautioned against the use of excessive force in this process in order to avoid any collateral damages.

While appreciating the role of security checkpoints on the nation’s highways in reducing crime, NEC equally notes the hardships haulage trucks and transporters face because of extortion by security personnel.

The meeting enjoins the Inspector General of Police and other agencies whose personnel are involved to address the issue in the best interest of motorists and other commuters.

“NEC tasks the Federal Government to tackle the problems of electricity supply with all the seriousness it can muster.It also urges government to enforce the directive on metering as Nigerians have been subjected to more punishment for being made to pay for energy not consumed. 

“The system of bulk payment to electricity companies is callous and should be stopped without any delay.

“The soaring unemployment in the country is also an issue of urgent concern and NEC wants the federal government to immediately consider recruiting more workers in all the Federal Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals.

“And in doing so, priority should be given to junior workers and the Federal Character Principles be taken into account in the spirit of fairness, equity and national cohesion.

“NEC expresses worry with the high rate of inflation that has eroded the purchasing power of Nigerian citizens and thus increased their sufferings.

“NEC appeals to the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently evolve additional measures that will limit inflation in the country. The Federal and State Governments should also consider providing succour to citizens especially now that the rainy season has set in,” the stated further.

The meeting was attended by National Officers, State Councils and the FCT


Source: News Express

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