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Establish trust fund for journalists to cater for needs during emergencies – Don tells FG, NUJ

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A senior lecturer at Lead City University, Ibadan, Bayonle Busari, has appealed to the federal government, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other relevant stakeholders to establish a special trust fund for journalists across the country.

Busari, who doubled as the Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies in the Department of Mass Communication at the institution, noted that this is necessary in order to cater for the immediate needs of journalists during emergencies.

The don made these disclosures on Thursday while delivering a memorial lecture marking the 10th year remembrance of a former Chairman of NUJ FRCN Ibadan Chapel, Mr Tunde Oluwanike.

GISTS VILLA reports that Oluwanike, a senior servicom officer in Radio Nigeria, Ibadan zonal station, died in a road accident alongside other journalists while returning from NUJ assignment in Abuja ten years ago.

Busari, while speaking at the event held at broadcasting house of Radio Nigeria, Ibadan zonal station, insisted that the government should institute a compensatory measure commensurable with the risks and hazards journalists face in the line of duty.

He added that this will help them to adequately cater for their families in case of any emergency such as sickness, accident or death.

Busari, while speaking on the topic “The need to establish trust funds for Journalists”, explained that the society looked up to journalists for their information needs.

He regretted that journalists worked in what he called an extremely hostile environment.

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He added that many journalists are risking their lives to cover events in a bid to inform, educate and entertain the people on a daily basis.

He said, “The government should institute a compensatory measure commensurate with the risks and hazards journalists face in the line of duty so as to adequately cater for their families in case of any eventuality.

“The society looked up to journalists for their information needs. Press men worked in an extremely hostile environment, thereby risking their lives to cover events in a bid to inform, educate and entertain the people.

“Salaries and pensions were not enough to cater for journalists; hence, the need for a better scheme such as a trust fund to cushion the effect of the hardships like harassment, sickness and death journalists were exposed to while carrying out their constitutional role as the fourth estate of the realm”.

Zonal Director, FRCN, Ibadan Zonal Station, Dominic Mokikan, who spoke through Deputy Director Engineering Services, Mr. Gabriel Àjàyí extolled the virtue of the Late Tunde Oluwanike and encouraged policymakers to adequately compensate journalists in lieu of their contribution to national development.

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