- The secretary of the FCT council of NUJ, Rafat Salami, describes non-payment of salaries as a threat to the survival of democracy
- She says when the media is not performing optimally, the nation suffers
- Labour reportedly demands N66,500 new minimum wage
The secretary of the FCT council of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Rafat Salami, has called on the federal government to declare state of emergency on the media industry in order to check the maltreatment of journalists.
She made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, April 30, in Abuja.
Salami, who participated in the recent convention of the Muslim media practitioners of Nigeria, described the non-payment of salaries by most media owners as unfortunate.
”It is a threat to the survival of democracy.
“It is so sickening that there are journalists here in Abuja who have not been paid salaries for over 30 months.
”Some were laid off without getting a dime.
“We have seen journalists who have moved from one media organisation to another for over four years, hoping to be getting salaries and none of them is being paid.
“The federal government should step in and declare a state of emergency on the media industry.
”When the media is not performing optimally, the nation suffers.
“In many negotiations I have been involved in, I told them that it is in the interest of the journalist for all businesses and media houses to thrive.
”But do not enslave us,” she said.
Salami, who accused the media owners of breach of contract by not paying salaries, said: "it is a sin not to pay workers their salaries and other allowances.’’
“How can you sleep knowing that you have not paid your staff salaries for many months. Many of the media owners seem not to have conscience any more.
“If NUJ wants to close down media houses that are not paying salaries, we will be closing down about 90 per cent of private media houses in this country,” she said.
She, however, urged journalists to always report the truth regardless of who was involved, saying “that is a core value of journalism.’’
Meanwhile, the organised labour in the country, comprising Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has reportedly resubmitted a joint memorandum to the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage. Leadership reports that the new memorandum contains a new demand of N66,500.
Legit.ng gathered that the N66,500 new demand, according to the memorandum, was arrived at based on three approaches and the result of independent study carried out.
The four approaches are minimum wage for some African countries; analysis based on the minimum cost of providing basic needs; a living wage approach and analysis based on rising cost of living.
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