ASUU, others advocate improved welfare for journalists





University lecturers, under their umbrella group, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have advocated an improved welfare package for journalists in the country.


The Chairman of ASUU chapter of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, made the call at the maiden or inaugural lecture of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau State Council


This was as the union leader insisted that a good welfare package for media practitioners would enhance professionalism and quality reportage that would lead to the growth and development of the society.


The ASUU chairman, who decried poor remuneration for media practitioners in the country, called for urgent review of their welfare package, as it is being done in the public service. “A better welfare package for journalists in Nigeria will not only promote a better society, but will also lead to objective reporting and professionalism. Just like teachers, the welfare package for media practitioners should urgently be reviewed upward.


“That way, we will begin to have a media that would stand for the truth and fair reportage that will lead to a better Nigeria,” Maigoro said.


Meanwhile, the state Governor, Simon Lalong, who was represented by state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, however, commended the chapel for organising the event, relishing the good working relationship the government had over the years been enjoying with the media in the state.


He, therefore, pledged that the government would continue to create an enabling environment for journalists to operate in the state, saying: “We have enjoyed good relationships with journalists in Plateau State; they have been very supportive. The government will look into the plight of journalists in the state and we will collaborate toward a better and progressive state.”


The theme of inaugural lecture is: “Insecurity and the Quest for Lasting Peace in Nigeria: The Role of the Media.” The lecture was delivered by Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, the Chairman House Committee on Navy, representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of the state.


The Chairman of the lecture, Manji Gontori, who underscored the role of the media in building a healthy and a peaceful society, admonished journalists to always ensure credible and balanced reportage geared towards building peaceful co-existence in the country. He noted: “The current security challenges in the country have made the choice of this theme apt and it is a way the media could contribute to address the myriad of problems of insecurity bedeviling the state in particular and the country in general.


“I was told that sometimes ago that this chapel lost some of its senior members in a road crash while they were returning from work outside Jos. It was revealed that the poor condition of the vehicle provided to convey them led to the accident and their subsequent death. May their soul continue to rest in perfect peace with the Lord.”


On his part, the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd) recalled the critical role journalists are playing in the development and growth of the country, noting that the protection of journalists should be given top priority by the government.


In his remarks, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Gyang Bere, also spoke on the need for the protection of journalists in order to effectively and efficiently carry out their assignments to the society in the area of delivering informed evidence-based decisions for national growth.


“I wish to call on the government, our partners, friends of the media and indeed the society in general to protect journalists and make their welfare a priority. If we do not protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and make evidence-based decisions would be defeated,” he noted.


Gyang, however, lamented the death of the seven members of the Chapel in a ghastly motor accident in 2007, saying the incident caused the chapel a great setback in its activities.




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