Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 13 November 2015 | 2,897 times
National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Waheed Odusile, has on Thursday evening said, the Nigerian media industry is in serious distress.
He said the union will take the matter to President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to seeking assistance for media organisations to pay salary arrears of its members.
Odusile, during an interaction with journalists at the Kaduna chapter of the NUJ, also said the union has commenced process of sponsoring a bill to address the menace of quake journalists in Nigeria.
He explained that, the union need a law to put quacks in their rightful place which according to him, “is either you are out of journalism or don’t even come near journalism or you are in jail somewhere.
“We have met with the leadership of the National Assembly and we are going to get a law to make sure that, journalism is not treated as an all comers’ affair. If you are not a journalist, you dear not practice as a journalist.
“We have been able to reach out to stakeholders, especially our seniors in the profession. We are in a discussion with the Guild of Editors and other stakeholders including the newspaper proprietors. We are looking at how best to tackle the issue of quacks.
“We need an enabling law, we have met with the leadership of the National Assembly and they are waiting for us and they have given us their promise and they are willing to listen and assist.
“We made it clear to them that, it is also in their own interest because the quacks, the people going about blackmailing go to the big shots in the society, the politicians, the businessmen whom they can extort money from,” he said.
The President also spoke on the challenges of lack of payment of salaries faced by journalists some of whom are being owned up to 25 months of salary.
He named AIT, Leadership, Daily Independent, Newswatch, Mirror, Tell, Union, New Nigerian, ThisDay and many others to have been owing so much, but have however commenced payment instalmentaly.
He said the interest of the leadership is that, media organisations should pay our members their entitlements.
He said the union will revive their internally generation mechanism with a view to reducing the dependent on external support to run the affairs and programmes of the union.
“Leadership will not take kindly to the act of blackmailing and has asked that Ethics and Disciplinary committee in all State Councils should be reactivated. We want to send out a signal to Nigerians that we won’t condone any act of blackmail or indiscipline by our members,” he added.
•Photo shows NUJ President, Comrade Waheed Odusile.
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