Saraki Canvasses Insurance Cover, Enhanced Salary For Journalists
SENATE President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday called for a comprehensive insurance cover for journalists in the country.
He also said that it has become imperative for the salaries of media practitioners to be enhanced in order to boost their morale and increase their productivity.
Saraki made these remarks when he chaired the opening session of the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja.
The Senate President who was represented at the event by the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, said that recent events in the national, cross-border and global polity has undoubtedly put a lot of emphasis on the safety, sustainability, value, rights and moral standing of the average journalist.
He noted that journalists put themselves through difficult, often uncharted channels to ensure that democracy has its highest expression. Saraki said: “It is thus incumbent on us, the custodians of this democracy, to bring to the fore viewpoints that will enhance the productivity and efforts of these professionals. That is why I associate myself with the call for journalists to be provided insurance cover by their employers, be it government or private. I also want to canvass enhanced salaries for the professionals.”
The Senate President said it is necessary to urgently review the training curriculum in Journalism institutions to accommodate parliamentary journalism and other necessary skills to prepare potential reporters for challenges in the area of Legislative Reporting.
Likewise, according to him, positive developmental and citizen journalism should be emphasised by the mass media with a view to fostering national unity, national interest and national cohesion.
According to him, “It is also worth knowing that beyond the business of governance, which is pivotal to our societal sovereignty, the press also commands indomitable powers in influencing the economic and social decisions of the society.
He commended the NUJ for holding the conference with the theme: “Fostering Safety of Journalists and Building Synergy with Agents of the State. ”
Earlier in his remarks, the outgoing National President of the NUJ, Mallam Mohammed Garba, said he was leaving behind a more peaceful union, having helped to restore normalcy to troubled state chapters of the union.
He said that the leadership of the NUJ is committed to providing enabling environment for journalists to carry out their professional duties without molestation.
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