NGE urges FG to give media organizations needed incentives for survival

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged President Muhammad Buhari led government to consider it necessary by given needed incentives to media organizations for being the essential service providers, in order to save the sector from sinking.

The Guild called the Federal Government to intervene by removing tariffs on all media consumables, including newsprint and broadcasting equipment, among others, in order to ensure uninterrupted operations of the organisations and also save jobs in the sector.

These were contained in a communiqué issued after the standing committee meeting of the Guild of Editors, held on April 9, 2021 in Enugu State.

According to the editors, there is nothing wrong in using public sector funds to save private sector organisations from bankruptcy.

This model had been adopted in other countries, including the United States, they said.

The communique said, ‘’NGE also points out that using public funds to finance private sector operations to save them from bankruptcy and collapse is not new and had been adopted in other countries, including the United States of America, where government voted public funds to save the US automobile industry, the banking sector and other sectors from insolvency during the financial crisis of 2008 and currently the $2 trillion bailout budget in 2020 for private equities amid the COVID-19 scourge.

‘’It recalled that the Nigerian Government has at various times in the past and during the Covid-19 era, voted public money as intervention funds for other sectors of the economy, including the aviation industry, which at this moment is largely private-sector driven.

‘’It notes, however, that the media appear to have been excluded in virtually all government interventions, through such agencies as the Central Bank and the Bank of Industry, thus leaving the media industry to trudge on like an orphan.”

It added, ‘’The Guild endorses the position of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), both of which have made strong appeals to the Federal Government for financial intervention to ensure that the media continue to discharge their constitutional duty, stressing that the survival of the media is essential in sustaining and deepening democracy.

‘’It urges government at all levels to see the media as partners in development and not as competitors or meddlesome interlopers, stressing that this will help erase every form of suspicion and mistrust that have attended the relationship between governments and the media over the years.”

The Guild appealed to the government and state actors to always recourse to relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution “which give power, responsibility and legitimacy to the media to hold public office holders accountable to the people.”

‘’It deplored the harassment and continued detention of some journalists across the nation which runs contrary to freedom of the press and allied rights and privileges conferred on the media, to at all times, be free to uphold the fundamental objectives of freedom of expression as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution,” the communiqué stated.

It added, ‘’It also expressed worry at the growing insecurity across the nation and urges the relevant security agencies to step up their efforts to contain the scourge. It warned all individuals and groups fanning the embers of war, hate and divisions to desist from such acts, as they serve no good but do incalculable damage to the fabric of our national existence and cohesion.

‘’The body of Editors congratulates the newly-decorated Acting Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba and urges him to ensure that the war against crimes and criminality, including terrorism, kidnapping and armed robbery, is not only won but, that the victory is sustained.’’

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post