The Vision Centre for Communication and Development Advocacy (VCCDA), has embarked on awareness creation to mobilise support for the revival of improved welfare package and insurance scheme for journalists in the country.
The Acting Chairman of the centre, Mr Gbenga Onayiga, said this at a one-day workshop in Kano on Monday.
Onayiga said the revival of the insurance scheme and improved welfare were part of viable programmes outlined by the centre to address challenges and build a vibrant media for an informed society.
He said that the centre accorded priority to capacity building to enable journalists meet the technological advancement to effectively discharge their constitutional mandate.
The centre also focused on encouraging communication research and adherence to ethical standards to promote professionalism in the media industry.
“We will not ignore the suffering of our colleagues and the family members of deceased journalists, hence the need for improved welfare and insurance scheme.
“The workshop is to develop a two-year working plan to fast track implementation of our programmes,” he said.
According to him, the centre will conduct sensitisation activities in other parts of the country to fast track adoption of sound policies and programmes aimed at transforming media operations in the country.
Onayiga said that the centre would utilise Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to achieve its objectives.
Malam Muhammad Garba, the Kano State Commissioner for Information, said the state government had provided an enabling environment for journalists and media organisations to operate without hindrance.
Garba, who inaugurated the workshop, said the state government had maintained harmonious working relationship with the media to fast track good governance.
The commissioner, who was also a former President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), decried the lack of salaries and poor working conditions of journalists.
He said that the trend must change to achieve sustainable development in the sector.
He advocated the reconstitution of the NUJ’s Ethics Committee to check quackery and promote professionalism.
While lauding the initiative, Garba urged the centre to engage veteran journalists holding political posts and other privileged positions to enable it achieve its objectives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by the NUJ National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman; General Manager, Vision FM Kano, Adamu Ladan; General Manager, Bronze Federal FM, Benin, Bimbo Oyetunde; and the Legal Officer of the centre, Sadiya Aliyu, among others.