•Workers shutdown Radio Nigeria Enugu, call for overhaul of facilities
From Magnus Eze, Enugu
All is not well with the Enugu national station of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). Daily Sun gathered that the station had operated at very low scale in recent times, thereby denying the people of the South East its services.
Disturbed by the epileptic state of operations at the station, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Radio and Television and Theatre Arts Workers’ Union (RATTAWU), on Friday, January 27, 2023, shutdown the station as part of protest over poor management of the station. The aggrieved workers appealed to the Director General of FRCN, Dr Mansul Leman, to redeem the image of Enugu State, alleging that all the official vehicles of deputy directors, including the operational ones, are grounded.
Chairman, NUJ Radio Nigeria, Enugu chapter, Obinna Ogbuka, said: “It is regrettable to note that the only functional vehicle in the entire station was the Toyota Corolla car currently being used by the Zonal Director. Therefore, any attempt to auction it portends doom for the station and the zone. This, however, has compelled the deputy directors to rely on public transport while reporters, producers and marketers have been abandoned to their fate.
“The union expresses unhappiness with the difficulties faced by staff in the discharge of their duties as a result of non-availability/faulty/poor maintenance of work stations, and called on the management to address the plight of the staff.”
NUJ also urged the management to install security solar-powered lights at the broadcasting house/transmitting station to prevent constant vandalism of FRCN infrastructure. It sought the reversal of the current arrangement of shutting down transmission by 9pm and reopening it at 6am: “This policy has portrayed the station in bad light and relegated it from its leading role in the South East to a pariah broadcast station.”
Though, the protest was peaceful, Deputy Director, Administration, FRCN, Enugu National Station, Innocent Egwuagu commended the workers for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves. He said the management was working to restore the image of the Enugu National State to its previous enviable height.
Prior to the protest, the unions had at a meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, discussed the state of affairs in the station and appealed to the management for quickest intervention. A communiqué by chairmen, RATTAWU and FRCCN, Godwin Ogwo and Ogbuka, respectively, said: “The union expresses fear over imminent collapse of the station’s operations as a result of poor signal/reception/constant dead air as a result of obsolete and poor maintenance of facilities and called for their total overhaul, including the live studio which has become an embarrassment to the corporate image of the station.
“It notes that the Enugu Zonal Station is currently transmitting less than one kilowatt as against about twenty kilowatts of normal transmission, not minding the busy nature of commercial belt. This is unacceptable and we call on the management of the station to rise up to the challenges.
“The union expresses worry about poor sanitation and possible outbreak of epidemic in the broadcasting house due to indiscriminate defecation/ urination in the premises of the station by staff and visitors evidently due to non-availability/functionality of conveniences, and called for immediate action.
“The union expresses unhappiness with the difficulties faced by staff in the discharge of their duties as a result of non-availability/faulty/poor maintenance of work stations and called on the management to address the plight of the staff.
“The union urges the management to clear all the outstanding claims/allowances owed to staff to motivate them for productivity.
“The union also frowns at the non-mobilization of some staff for the last promotional exercise, and called for immediate action.”
There was yet to be any official reaction from the leadership of the FRCN headquarters, Abuja, as at press time.