From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday advocated for better and improved welfare packages for journalists in Nigeria.
The call was made by the Chairperson of ASUU University of Jos branch, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, at the inaugural lecture organised by the Correspondents’ chapel of the Plateau Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Jos.
According to Maigoro, a good welfare package for media practitioners would breed professionalism and reportage that would lead to the growth and development of the society.
Maigoro, who decried poor renumeration for journalists in the country, called for urgent review of their welafre packages.
According to him, “A better welfare package for journalists in Nigeria will not only promote a better society, but will lead to objective reportage and professionalism.
“Just like teachers, the welfare package for media practitioners should urgently be reviewed upward.
“That’s why, we will begin to have a media that would stand for the truth and reports that which will lead to a better Nigeria,” he maintained.
The ASUU chairperson called on both government owned and private media outfits to ensure an upward review of salaries of their workers.
Earlier, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State commended the chapel for organising the event, adding that government has been enjoying a good working relationship with the media in the State.
Represented by Lalong who was represented by the Commissioner of Information and Communications, Hon. Dan Manjang, said government would continue to create an enabling environment for journalists to operate.
“We have enjoyed good relationship with journalists on the Plateau; they have been very supportive.
“Government will look into the plights of journnalists in the state and we will collaborate towards a better and progressive state,” he added.
The inaugural lecture had the topic “Insecurity and the Quest for Lasting Peace in Nigeria: The Role of the Media”, was delivered by Mr Yusuf Gagdi, member representing Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Federal Constituency.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the Chapel, Comrade Gyang Bere, said “The choiced for this Inaugural lecture was deliberate as this is part of the Chapel’s contribution in building and strengthening peace and peaceful coexistence in Plateau and our dear country.
“On this note, I wish to call on our Government, our partners, friends of the media and indeed the society to protect Journalists and make their welfare a priority.
According to him, “If we do not protect Journalists, our ability to remain informed and make evidence-based decision would be defeated.
“However, one of the pressing needs of the Chapel at the moment is lack of a functional vehicle.
Plateau Correspondents appears to be the only Chapel in the history of this country that do not have a bus or a vehicle and lack of this contributed to the demised of our very Senior Colleagues during the 2007 ghastly motor accident”, he decried.
Bere said among those who survived the accident includes: Onoja Audu Ojogbane-Daily Independent; Andrew Agbese-Daily Trust; Agada Okopi-AIT (now with TVC); Dr Seriki Adinoyi-ThisDay; Aminu Manu-(RFI) who later passed on, and lastly is Asile Emmanuel of Reality Newspaper (now with The Mail News).
He listed the names of those who died at the scene, which includes: Moses Ezulike, Champion Newspaper; Judith Adama, New Nigeria Newspaper; Chiwo Avre, Leadership; Isaac Agbo, The Nation Newspaper; Emmanuel Adinoyi AIT and a NAN Reporter.