The Oasis Reporters
June 28, 2019
By Mike Odeh James, Kaduna.
The poor working conditions of most Nigerian Journalists especially the non payment of salaries of journalists by owners of media houses in the country has come under the scrutiny and condemnation of The Society of African Journalists, SAJ.
In a press release issued recently by the acting President of SAJ, Mr .Micheal Adeboboye, “the problem of remuneration for journalists in the country boils down to three:
Media houses that do not pay their workers at all, those that are owing their workers wages, some spanning 6 months to a year and above, and those that pay as low a N20,000 per month and still find it difficult to effect payment”.
Adeboboye equally noted that “journalists work hard for media organisations which are profit-inclined. These outfits make huge revenues annually but it is unfortunate that most media outfit owners refuse to prioritise the payment of salaries of their workers, who actually generate the revenue for their businesses”.
He however had commendations for the umbrella body of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ whose efforts aimed at addressing the issue, seem likely to highlight and bring the matter under scrutiny.
Adeboboye at the same time charged governments at the various levels to do more in the area of making private media owners pay their journalists but did not suggest possible sanctions in the face of default.
But do governments show enough commitment in the welfare of journalists working in its own media outfits? Adeboboye did not indicate.
The SAJ boss reminded the NUJ, media house owners and the government that a journalist that is regularly paid would do much to uphold the ethical standards of the profession and therefore the society at large would gain from it.
He then urged the 9th Assembly to pass a bill that would criminalize nonpayment of salaries and emoluments to journalists by their employers.