Mr Chris Isiguzo, a presidential aspirant in the forthcoming delegates’ conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), says his administration’s priority is to ensure better working conditions for journalists in Nigeria.
Isiguzo made this promise in a manifesto on Wednesday in Calabar during his campaign tour of the Cross River council of the NUJ.
According to him, many journalists in Nigeria are not in paid employments while those who are fortunately employed are poorly remunerated.
He regretted that many states were yet to implement the weighing allowance for journalists, which was initiated by the NUJ leadership since 2009.
“A labourer deserves his wages; unfortunately, this does not apply to journalists in Nigeria. Many journalists today are freelancers because the media houses cannot pay their salaries.
“This has brought a lot of quackery into the profession. We will take the issue of salary and allowances, especially the weighing allowance for our members very seriously.
“We will employ all strategic and legal means to ensure that all the states of the federation implement the weighing allowance for journalists on their payrolls.
“Unionism is all about the welfare and wellbeing of members. It is time for us to compete with our counterparts all over the world,” he said.
Isiguzo, who is also the current Vice President, South East zone of NUJ, stated that his administration would push for Stabilisation Funds (SF) for the media industry in the country.
“Like bailout funds, we are going to reach out to relevant stakeholders in the industry to try to find a way out.
“A lot of people, who come up with newspaper outfits today do not have the financial capacity to run a media house because it is capital intensive.
“The same thing happens in the broadcast industry and that is why journalists are suffering; and that is why we have proliferation of quacks in the profession. This must stop,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Victor Udu, the state chairman of NUJ, described the aspirant as very intelligent and one with the capacity to take the union to the next level.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the delegates’ conference is expected to take place in Abeokuta in October.