Former General Manager of the Lagos Traffic Radio, Ikeja, Mr. Layinka Adagun has charged maritime journalists to go beyond reporting events in the maritime industry as doing so will enable them realize that they have the resources to constitute themselves into a consultancy group.
Adagun who gave this admonition at a one seminar for Maritime Journalists organized by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in conjunction with the Maritime Industry Advocacy initiative in Lagos yesterday stated that doing this had an inherent prospect of calling the bluff of employers owing arrears of wages advising them to give his advice the desired consideration.
He however added that capacity building had remained a major concern of various professional groups that ad insisted on Mandatory Continuing Development Programme for their members even as he said that that was an area the Nigerian media industry was lacking.
According to him, employers in the media industry today were so overwhelmed with the twin problem of unpaid wages and rising production costs that the training needs of the employees were largely left unattended to.
“By organizing this seminar, the Maritime Industry Advocacy Initiative should be commended for taking a leap in filling the void in professional development of journalists covering the industry. No one will deny the need to also commend the Nigerian Ports Authority for its untiring efforts to co-operate with stakeholders in the maritime sector on the growth of various groups within the industry.
“Today’s event should not be a one off thing. I urge the Maritime Industry Advocacy Initiative not to relent in tis objectives and the Nigerian Ports Authority to continue to remain the ‘Big Brother’ in its support to worthy ideas in improving the lot of stakeholders in the maritime sector.
“To my colleagues, I want to appeal that we all make self-development and capacity building our lofty goals. I need not tell you that hood journalist don’t retire, they only change address of employment”, he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Mr. Qasim Akinreti admonished the maritime journalists to key into the inherent potentials in the blue economy adding that they are where they were because they had not been able to also explore the opportunity in the blue economy to their own advantage and to the overall advantage of Nigeria.
He noted that it was important for them to get it right so that as they make a lot of contributions to the Nigerian economy as journalists, they too must stand up to be counted.
In his words, “I don’t believe journalists should be poor; it only depends on how you as a person decide to look at that job. That is why I said in the blue economy, that there are so many aspects of blue economy that we can explore to our advantage. So, the onus is on all of us that beyond this he said, he said, there are so many things that we can do and I am happy Mr. Adagun has highlighted some of these areas. We as journalists are supposed to exploit the prospects of that blue economy but we are not doing that”.
On continuous training for journalists, Akinreti said,” Professionalism, we are so passionate about training, I am happy Sesan is also bringing this to bear. I have been telling our people, you need to up your skills. Last week, we had a training with African Media Initiative and then we negotiated with them, those who are interested in doing PhD in Germany, it will be free, we have discussed that, those who want to do Masters in Germany, free of charge, we also discussed that and we have about 15 editors and 30 journalists that participated in that programme.
“So, the next level we are taking it is that people should also rise up beyond the elementary so that when you are talking, people respect you. As an academia, you are global citizen and nobody can take you for granted and that is the level I think all of us should go into”.
He further disclosed that plans are underway to ensure that never again will the union go cap in hand begging for money adding that the Union had taken over the Lighthouse from the Manager and was now in custody of its own fund which he said had been invested in Treasury Bills.
“Apart from Treasury bills, we are going to purchase land for Agriculture in Abeokuta and we also have 35 acres of land that we are going to make use of for agricultural purposes. It will change the mindset and the paradigm so that people can know that as journalists, we also think”, he concluded.
Photo: Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council, Mr. Qasim Aknireti.
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