The Nigeria Union of Journalists on Saturday berated media owners for their continued non-payment of journalists’ salaries in the country.
The union’s criticism was conveyed in a communique issued and read by the President, Chris Isiguzo, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The communique said: “The Union believes that this negative trend continues to impact negatively on the practice of journalism.
“Media owners who owe journalists should discharge their obligations in this respect, responsibly and as when due.
“A situation where some journalists are made to work for months without any salary is an aberration and should be condemned.”
The union also called on the Federal Government to provide COVID-19 bailout funds to the media.
“The Federal Government should urgently intervene to save the media industry from collapse. A vibrant and independent media is germane to a democracy and as such should be jealously guarded and protected,” it said.
It lauded the contributions of the Tertiary Education Fund to tertiary education over the years, and appealed to the Federal Government to inject sufficient funds into TETfund to ensure a complete overhaul of the Nation’s tertiary education system.
The union also urged the Federal Government to overhaul its security apparatus as well as accede to the clamour for state police to bolster the security system.
On soaring unemployment and inflation rates in the country, the union urged the Federal Government to create more employment in its Ministries, Departments and Agencies, while urging the Central Bank of Nigeria to evolve policies to curb inflation in the country.
“The high rate of inflation has eroded the purchasing power of Nigerian citizens and thus increased their sufferings. The federal and state governments should consider providing succour to citizens, especially now that the rainy season has set in,” it said.
It lamented the state of federal roads, while urging a complete overhaul of the roads network to cub accidents on the highways as well as a speedy rehabilitation of the rail system.
The union appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for approving the request to host the NEC meeting in Asaba despite the economic realities in the country.
It also applauded the governor for providing quality leadership, particularly in the area of infrastructure development across the state, while also commending him for the completion of the NUJ Press Centre Complex in Asaba.