The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Sunday backed agitation for urgent upward review of the N18, 000 national minimum wage. The union’s stand was contained in an 11-point communiqué issued at the end of its quarterly National Executive Council meeting held in Owerri, Imo State.
The communiqué noted that the current minimum wage was too meagre to accommodate the daily needs of workers and urged the Federal Government to review it upward. “The minimum wage is no longer in tandem with prevailing economic realities because of the high cost of living in the country. “Government should urgently review upward the present minimum wage of N18, 000,” it said. The NUJ also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently declare a state of emergency to fix the deplorable state of roads in the country. It said that the condition of the roads had led to loss of many lives and affected free movement of goods and services across the country. The communiqué also called on the government to give adequate attention to the legitimate developmental needs of oil producing areas in the country. “In the same vein, leaders of the Niger Delta should prevail on youths in their area to desist from further destruction of oil and gas installations and other national assets in the region. “Similarly, there is need for a more robust response from stakeholders, non-governmental organisations, development partners and donor agencies in rebuilding and reintegrating victims of insurgency. “This will discourage those who have moved to their communities from returning to the Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs) camps,” it said. The journalists said government and community leaders must work together to find lasting solutions to challenges in the country, particularly in the North-East. The NUJ canvassed support for the nation’s Armed Forces in fighting terrorism, militancy, oil theft, illegal bunkering, piracy and other forms of insecurity in the country. It stressed that federal and state governments must develop robust relationship with journalists and make available information concerning their activities when requested. “The judicial system should also be strengthened to end impunity with regards to crimes against journalists.”