Concerned by the worrisome development of poor remunerations for journalists, the NUJ, NPC and other stakeholders met at the Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar, from 14th-15th October, 2008 and brainstormed on the possibility of having an acceptable standard conditions of service for working journalists in Nigeria.
At the end of highly interactive and exhaustive sessions, the participants noted as follows;
- That journalists in Nigeria have done well in the discharge of their professional duties;
- That journalists are often exposed to dangers and work under hazardous conditions;
- That Nigerian journalists have contributed to the peace and stability of the country by doggedly and unflinchingly fighting for the enthronement and sustenance of democracy;
- That journalists in Nigeria inspite of all these contribution to National development are poorly remunerated, poorly treated and often relegated;
- Participants notes the absence of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) as portrayed by its absence at the workshop, inspite of efforts made by the leadership of the NUJ and urge NPAN to collaborate with the Union like other stakeholders
The workshop then resolved as follows;
- That there should be an acceptable standard condition of service for journalists in Nigeria.
- That a duly registered journalist should be started on a salary entry point of plus 60% of the basic annual salary of a graduate officer in the Federal Civil Service.
- That NUJ, RATTAWU, NUPPPROW and other related organizations should collaborate in ensuring the enforcement of a living wage for Nigeria journalists, including an Insurance scheme, pension leave allowance, hazard allowance among others.
- The Workshop decried the negative attitude of the management of some media houses such as The Punch and The Guardian Newspapers, which frustrate Unionization in their organizations, noting that this contravenes the ILO convention and the Labour Act which allows workers to unionize in their work places.
- Emphasizes the need for state councils to reinvigorate the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the NUJ to check excesses of members and called on federal government to empower the Nigerian Press Council, NPC to enforce discipline among practitioners.
- That journalist should hold tenaciously to the ethical standard of practice as contained in the Code of Ethics as it is the only way to command respect in the larger society.
- NUJ to be more proactive in mobilizing its members for effective unionization in the interest of the Union and to build confidence and integrity among its members so that they cease to work against their collective interests.
- The workshop participants recommended the resuscitation of the Nigerian Press Organization, NPO and the inclusion of Broadcasting Organization of Nigerian, BON.
- The workshop emphasis the urgent need for the NUJ in conjunction with NPAN, BON, and NPC to set up a national, Examination and Accreditation Communication graduates in Nigeria before they can be admitted into the practice of the profession.
- Participants noted with dismay the deplorable state of Nigerian roads which had become death traps to motorists and road users and called on the Federal and State Government to declare a state of emergence on the sector.
- On the recent global financial crisis, the workshop called on the Federal Government, the organized private sector, companies, to do everything possible to protect the nation’s economy and to further make life more tolerable for the citizenry.
- Participants criticized the proposals of the Senate on the freedom of information (FOI) Bill, and posited that the amendment, apart from being anti-people, would effectively deny Nigerians their access to information.
- The workshop commended organizations such as like RATTAWU, BON, and NLC for their active participation in the workshop and urged them to sustain the tempo.
- Participants appreciate in a special way the Government and people of Cross River State for their moral and financial support towards the successful hosting of the two day event.