By Hajara Abdullahi
Journalism is an indispensable tool in any democratic society that serves as an inevitable eye-opener to societal problems.
The advent of the internet and ICT have promoted the profession beyond its traditional tenets of surveillance, correlation, cultural transmission to a greater height.
Certainly, journalism has code of ethics that prevent journalists from accepting money and other favours in the course of discharging their duties, which may prompt them to go beyond the line in reporting accurately.
Brown Envelope journalism has been defined by Wikipedia as “a practice whereby monetary inducement is given to journalists to make them write a positive story or kill a negative story”.
It could also be seen as an act of receiving gifts, cash favour etc by a Journalist to influence his/her decision.
However, many Nigerian Journalists continue to be accused of receiving brown envelopes in the course of their jobs and this has affected the integrity of the practitioners and credibility of certain reports by the public.
Sadly, the income of most journalists and media personnel is not encouraging, although there’s no justification for how much a journalist should be paid, it’s a fact that some are poorly paid while others of deep interest are exploited.
Just imagine being paid #10,000 a month when fare to work is #12,000, too, a month. This fact keeps on worsening the lives of journalists in Nigeria and paralysing the purpose for which it is supposed to serve.
Therefore, this alone is enough to have made “BROWN ENVELOPE A SYNDROME” rampant among journalists, which is also a symbol of being underpaid.
The incident between Naziru Sarkin Waƙa and that of a journalist in the intriguing series LABARINA is just a testimony to what the veteran singer has been encountering during such visits.
However, a scene should have immediately followed, if the director has an intention of proving the integrity of a journalist who has nothing to do with sort of brown envelope(s) like it was done in Kwana Casa’in Series of Arewa24 TV where Sahabi continues to be as clean as water to reject such alluring gifts.
In essence, I think media organisations need to increase the earnings and working conditions of their staff to promote integrity in the profession; providing them with comfortable available means of transportation will make them shun transport fare being offered and create a truly professional impression in the eyes of whosoever they will visit for work purposes.
Concerned organisations like the NUJ, NBC should organise conferences, seminars, workshops for veterans, and aspiring journalists to enlighten them on the harmful effect of receiving brown envelopes.
Journalists have and will continue to serve as a watchdog in every society as well as a bridge to the gap between the government and masses and that’s why history will not forget Veteran journalists eg Dele Giwa, Enenche Akogwu, Kiki Mordi, Jamal kashoggi, Malala Maiwand etc who paid with their lives for speaking out the truth.
Also, dedicated and hardworking journalists like Anas Aremeyau Anas have received public recognition and praises for their selfless and committed attitude towards voicing out the truth as the famous American Linguistic Noam Chomsky said.
Lastly, journalists should be dedicative towards their work and should desist from receiving brown envelopes or any other token aimed at perverting the course of their work.
Most importantly all hands must be on deck to assist journalists in the course of discharging their duties and abiding by the code of ethics by refusing to offer them bribes and also encourage them by commending their efforts and giving them vital information.
Hajara Abdullahi is a student of Department of Mass communications Bayero University Kano.
Refineries Not Created To Reduce Petrol Price, Kyari Tells Senate
Forty eight hours after being summoned by the Senate, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has now appeared before the joint committee on appropriations.
The Senate had issued a 24-hour ultimatum on Wednesday to the NNPCL boss after an observations that he had in previous occasions, shunned summons by the Senate to appear before its ad-committee probing over 11 trillion naira expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
Responding to questions by the senate committee on appropriations on the potential drop in pump price of petroleum owing to the expected functionality of refineries, Kyari clarified his comment after he was interrogated again. He explained that it might be possible to have a reduction, but it is not the main objective of the refineries.
He buttressed that maintaining the energy security target has fostered the confidence that in 2024, Nigeria will become a net exporter of petroleum products.
The NNPCL boss affirmed that no subsidy is charged to the federation, adding that the NNPC has contributed 4.45 trillion naira as direct revenue into the federation in a combination of taxes, royalties and dividends and paid 406 billion naira as dividend to Federal Government’s account from July 2023.
According to him, Nigeria does not have credible data for PMS consumption in the country because of the absence of the instrument to measure.
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, had on Wednesday, directed Kyari to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government. Channels TV.
Labour Leaders Meet To Work Out Living Wages
Ahead of the expected resumption of negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is meeting in Abuja to brainstorm so as to arrive at a living wage that is commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.
This came as the NLC has vowed not to be deterred by the recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State, which it said poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
These were contained in the welcome address by the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, at the Opening Session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School with the theme: “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement” in Abuja.
Ajaero, represented by the Congress Deputy President, Benjamin Anthony said: “In the face of adversity and brutality encountered while advocating for the rights of workers to earn their legitimate income and benefits, our resolve remains unwavering. We are motivated to continue our efforts towards achieving decent work and improving working conditions in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
He implored participants to approach the training programme with a quest and thirst for knowledge through asking of questions and sharing of experiences with the facilitators and with one another.
He thanked the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO for the English Speaking, West African Countries, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, Country Director of the Solidarity Centre, members of the NAC, CWC and NEC of the NLC for finding time to attend the Opening Session of the 2023 School.
Operatives Of NDLEA Uncover Illicit Drugs Concealed In Dolls, Local Soap, Milo Tins
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have uncovered illicit substances bound for Europe, United Arab Emirates and Asia.
Disclosing this in a statement on Sunday, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the illicit substances intercepted included various quantities of methamphetamine and opioids concealed in hems of new jeans trousers, dolls, buttons, local soap and tins of milo beverage.
Noting that the operation was carried out by operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) at courier houses in Lagos, he said some of the items seized included tramadol 225mg concealed in hems of new jeans trousers heading to Cyprus; shipment of cannabis sativa hidden in heads of dolls going to Dubai; sachets of tramadol 225mg buried in tins of milo beverage going to UAE; and another set of same drug hidden in local soap also going to UAE.
Others were a consignment of methamphetamine concealed in buttons heading to Hong Kong; and a shipment of another illicit substance coming from Florida, USA.
“Operatives in Lagos on Friday 1st December also arrested a drug kingpin, Okechukwu Ogala, 56, who specialises in exploiting and recruiting young citizens to export meth to Asian countries.
“He was arrested at Blue Moon Hotel in Okota area of Lagos with 60 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.009 kilograms.
“In another operation in Lagos, operatives on Friday 1st December recovered 393kgs of cannabis in a shop at Akala, Mushin while a suspect, Justin Enuonye, who deals in Canadian Loud was arrested by the police at Victoria Island and transferred to Lagos Command of NDLEA on Friday 1st December with 154 parcels weighing 92kgs.
“A team of NDLEA operatives also intercepted a vehicle at Oyingbo area of Lagos and recovered 108kgs of cannabis from it, while 675 kilograms of the same substance were recovered from the store of a wanted dealer, Wahab Olota at Adedoja area of Mushin, Lagos,” Babafemi said. Channels TV.
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