COVID-19: NUJ President writes President Buhari over state of media industry

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The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chris Isiguzo, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari on the negative impact of the Coronavirus Disease on the media industry, calling for assistance to avert collapse and sack of workers.

Isiguzo, in the letter, said if the situation is allowed to prevail, the media industry faces imminent collapse along the loss of thousands of jobs.

The letter, copied to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha; and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, reads in full:

NUJ/NS/10/P/1/VOL I
His Excellency,
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
State House, Abuja.

 

CONVULSIONS IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY

We write to extend the highest esteem of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the warmest consideration of its National Executive Council.

We are constrained once again to write this letter to Mr President, appealing for urgent intervention to save the media industry from collapse.

Sir, permit us to state that, the social duties of Journalists in Nigeria include the advancement of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of the press, media independence, conflict transformation and peace building. These are prerequisites for open governance and development, the fight against corruption among others, which ultimately serve the public interest.

Your Excellency, there can be no freedom of expression and freedom of the press where Journalists work under precarious situations and are exposed to poverty and fear. Media organisations are daily being asphyxiated as a result of the economic downturn occasioned by the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Today, the role of the media in National Development has become more elaborate and clearer, more than ever before, despite the little funds available to them because of shrinking advertisements, and high cost of operations, media houses can no longer comfortably pay these costs and offset staff salaries and emoluments. It is instructive to note that without the media, the Covid 19 Crisis could have gone completely out of control by now.

Your Excellency, it is pertinent to draw your attention to these ugly developments and request for the urgent intervention of the Federal Government to arrest this dangerous trend. Specifically, we appeal for financial bailout for the media industry through the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria for privately owned media organisations in the country.

Sir, this is a crisis situation of monumental proportion and we plead for your urgent intervention to avert a catrostophe.

While thanking Mr President in anticipation, you will once more accept the assurance of our cooperation at all times, please.

Chris Isiguzo
National President

CC: (1) President of the Senate,
National Assembly, Abuja.

(2) Speaker of the House of Representatives,
National Assembly, Abuja.

(3) Secretary to the Government of the

Federation, Office of the SGF, Abuja.

(4) Minister of Information & Culture,
Ministry of Information, Abuja.

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