June 24, 2024

NLC President Advocates Criminalizing Non-Payment of Journalists’ Salaries





The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has called for the criminalization of non-payment of journalists’ salaries, emphasizing the need for better compensation, insurance, and pensions for media professionals.

During a visit to the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Chris Isiguzo, in Abuja, Ajaero outlined the critical yet undervalued role journalists play in society.


“Journalists have been pivotal in our fight for independence and the democracy we now enjoy. It is disheartening that they often have to beg for their salaries,” Ajaero said, lamenting the deteriorating conditions in the journalism profession despite advancements in technology.


He criticized the current state of journalists’ welfare, noting, “Journalists work tirelessly without weekends, public holidays, or festive breaks, often reporting on the activities of those enjoying these benefits. Yet, their welfare is continually neglected.”


Ajaero proposed a biennial consultative forum to negotiate a minimum wage for journalists with media employers and advocated for pension schemes and insurance coverage to enhance their working conditions. He stressed that non-payment of salaries should be treated as a criminal offense, urging media owners to fulfill their obligations to their employees.


The NLC president also addressed the challenges faced by reporters, who often use their salaries for transportation, calling the situation “unacceptable.” He emphasized the need to regulate online media practices and integrate them into the NUJ to ensure accountability.


In response, Dr. Isiguzo affirmed the NUJ’s efforts to address the issues plaguing the journalism profession. “We are revising the Code of Ethics to clarify employers’ responsibilities towards media workers. Additionally, we need to resolve the mystery of our check-off dues, which currently do not reach the NUJ,” Isiguzo said.

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