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“Our Societies Become Better When We Use Information For Good” – NOA Director

The Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Kwara State, Mr Olusegun Adeyemi says there is no doubt that societies become better when information is used for the good of all and not to slander or incite chaos.

Adeyemi made this known in a statement issued in commemoration of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day with the theme ‘Information as a Public Good”

According to him, Journalists have a key role to play as they gather and disseminate information.

The NOA Director commended the global community of Journalists and media practitioners and in particular, those serving in Kwara State for their relentless and sacrificial commitment towards ensuring an informed and empowered society.

“On this day, we join others across the world to appreciate members of the forth estate of the realm who continue to strive to provide timely and accurate information even in the face of numerous challenges,“ he said.

Adeyemi called on government and other stakeholders to always ensure the safety, protection and independence of the Press as they render their invaluable services.

He also highlighted the nexus between press freedom and journalists being paid living wages and therefore urged employers to ensure media practitioners are properly remunerated, giving incentives and adequately catered for.

Adeyemi equally charged journalists to be professional in their conduct and reportage of events and to be mindful of the fact that pen is mightier than the sword.

He emphasised that media practitioners in Nigeria should shun hate speeches and fake news and other activities that can fan embers of war, rather they should use their intelligence and influence in building virile, peaceful and stable communities.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, has called for sanctions on poor remunerations and irregular payment of salaries by some Media Organuzations to Media Practitioners in Nigeria.

In its solidarity with Nigeria Media Professionals in Country on the occasion marking the World Press Freedom Day, the Group called for urgent laws making it impossible for such violations of fundamental human rights to continue in Nigeria.

In a statement released on Monday and signed by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cause the National Assembly to amend relevant parts of the Laws setting-up the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

It explained that giving the two Regulatory Bodies the powers to shut-down any erring Media Organisations that deny its workers regular payment of salaries; while there must be template as well on reasonable salary to be paid to a qualified Media Practitioners based on their qualifications and experience.

“It is well-known that people have varied objectives for setting up Media Outfits. While it is lawful to have political, economic and other lawful interests for setting up Media Organizations, running such Organizations without human feelings such as neglect of payment of salaries is absurd, inhuman and condemnable,” the Group maintained.

The National Coordinator of the Group who is a Human Resource Management Expert, stated that in operating Media Outfit, once it is apparent that the Proprietors could not ‘make the ends meet’ such as non-payment of salaries, they need to shut-down for a while and restrategise before re-opening or close-up completely instead of denying the workers their lawful entitlement.

This irregularity according to the Media Watch Group is common with Private Media Organisations, some of who pursues economic benefit to the detriment of workers’ welfare warning that this must not be allowed to continue.

On the performance of the Media Practitioners, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria commended them for their sacrifice, commitment and dedication to duty, adding that like Medical Doctors, they too deserve Special Media Salary Scale (SMSS) as they work 24 hours of the day; adding that this would motivate them to give their best to their Employers and the Nation at large.

MMWG however cautioned the Bodies of Media Professionals such as Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), Nigerian Guild of Editors, the Newspaper Proproetors’ Association (NPAN) and indeed the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to evolve urgently antidotes against fake-news, political blackmail, publication of seditious, provocative and libelious news as well as airing offensive programmes; which usually fall them into conflict especially with NBC.

More worrisome now the Group said, is the heightened ethno-religious comments and publications capable of aggravating the current insecurity in the land; adding that such unpatriotic and unprofessional acts would always cause embarrassment for them, they must therefore stand-clear of them, the Group advised.

Source: Voice of Nigeria