By: Okunade Adekunle
A Chairmanship aspirant contesting in the forthcoming Nigerian Union of Journalists ( Lagos Council), Dr. Qasim Akinreti has said that his agenda is to reposition and strengthen journalism profession in the State if elected.
Akinreti, who works at Voice of Nigeria (VON) in company of his campaign team said this while addressing journalists covering the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents (LAHACA) at Alausa, Ikeja.
Akinreti who is an internationally certified media trainer, from UK, US and Singapore, believes it is high time journalists took their pride of place in the country.
Akinreti would be contesting against Adeleye Ajayi from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an election slated for September 30, 2017.
He explained that the union would “engage media owners in Lagos state for a Media Enhancement Bill.This is a private bill that will assist media operations in Lagos state. The regular payment of salaries and other entitlements will be discussed with media owners on a quarterly basis.
“Payment of Pension has remained a major challenge for some of our media organisations. The union under the “New Beginning” mantra will be engaging pension officials and management on prompt remission of pension deductions.
“The life insurance policy scheme for journalists will be followed up with their media employers. Under the new leadership, life insurance policy is compulsory due to the nature of our jobs. Modalities for welfare packages for members will be captured in the budget.
“The union will assist members who are desirous to teach Journalism on a part-time basis in some public and private tertiary institutions in Lagos and its environs.
“In our collaborations with ASCON, CMD, Lagos state civil service training centre, members who are due for retirement will be assisted to undergo training. Indigent members and veterans will be given financial support under a social intervention scheme.
“A special housing policy will be worked out with the Lagos state government and bulk purchase of building materials from reputable companies to enable journalists develop their lands
“Training and retraining of members, based on needs and current developments in the media industry. For example, Online Journalism /Multimedia /Digital and Data Journalism are key areas of modern and future Journalism training globally. Synergy will be worked out with media organisations on joint training of members.
“Collaboration with donor agencies, development partners and media training institutions within and outside Nigeria will be explored and given utmost priority in training and retraining programmes.The establishment of a Community radio called NUJ /Badagry Community Radio will become a reality under leadership of Dr Akinreti. The establishment of a Business Radio station in Lagos will also be explored. These radio stations will be fully multimedia and would provide additional revenue fo tge council. Dr Qasim Akinreti and his team has been involved in these projects with organisations and individuals. His wealth of experience will make a positive difference.
“The purchase of a property in Ikeja will be explored for a befitting “SOCIAL CENTER” for members,” said Akinreti.
The chairmanship aspirant who had served as a media consultant with UNDP, (Democracy, Governance and Development, DGD, Project) and a scholar of repute also promised that lands purchased from the state government would be accessed for development.
“Investment in Agriculture would be discussed with subscribers of NUJ lands in Ikorodu and Owode/Ofada areas who are not ready for immediate development towards a lease and investment”, said Akinreti.
According to him, “Our word will be our bond. We shall restore trust to the Union and ensure that what is due to members are given as and when due.”