The Commissioner for Information & Orientation, Barrister (Mrs.) Rosemary Effiom Archibong has charged the Association of Cross River Online Journalists to be assertive in their reportage and help in strengthening and deepening governance and indeed, the democratic process.
The Information and Orientation boss who was represented by her Ministry’s Director of Public Relations, Mr. Mike Nyajor gave the charge in a keynote address tagged, “The Role of Online Media in Strengthening Government Conversation and Policy: The Cross River Perspective,” during a one-day capacity building and training workshop for online journalists in the state held at the Adsuit Hotels, Ikot Effa, Calabar.
Mrs. Archibong, who commended ACROJ for the workshop, stated that their above role through investigative reporting will help to build peace and social consensus which would lead to societal stability, good governance and tremendous democratic dividends for the citizenry.
She further stressed that understanding government’s policy thrust, vision and mission remain a critical background to good reportage by online and other media practitioners, pointing out that Governor Ayade-led administration has a new policy thrust of enterprise development, agricultural mechanisation, industrialisation, robust tourism and human capital development, among others.
She advised online and other media practitioners to be abreast with the policy thrust of Governor Ayade’s administration and its various initiatives, so as to be able to communicate knowledgeably for people to follow.
The Commissioner also decried the alarming rate at which some media practitioners escalate and fan the embers of discord through bias reporting, reinforcing prejudices, muddling facts and peddling half-truths, adding that such unethical practices injure the relationship between the government and the governed. She adjured media practitioners at all times uphold to the ethics of the journalism profession.
She admonished the online body to register as an affiliate of the umbrella, Nigerian Union of Journalists, in order to gain credibility and recognition.
In a lecture on “Ethics in Online Journalism, the Chief Executive Officer of Hit FM, Mr. Patrick Ugbe outlined “truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity, and accountability” as ethical pillars of journalism.
Mr. Ugbe urged media practitioners to maintain ethics in their practice and obey the rules and regulations guiding the profession.
In another presentation titled, “Election and Crisis Reporting,” the Daily Editor of the Nigerian Chronicle, Mrs. Florence Oluohu articulated that during crisis reporting, journalists should resort to provide solutions with their reportage, instead of inciting the situation to an alarming proportion. “Avoid gory images, crisis negativity, and identifying with one side of the crisis,” Mrs. Oluohu added.
She concluded by pointing out that in reporting elections, journalists must avoid being partisan.
The ACROJ Capacity Building and Training Workshop was aimed at up-scaling online practitioners with contemporary journalistic skills and ethics.
Labour Lauds Rivers Assembly Over Power Devolution
The organised labour in Rivers State has commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for backing power devolution in the country.
Speaking to The Tide, the chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Beatrice Itubo explained that the decision of the members of the assembly is a step in the right direction and good for the unity and stability of the country.
Itubo added that the lawmakers should call for contributions and input of the key stakeholders before passing into law several bills in the House.
She stressed that allowing critical stakeholders to make input would strengthen the tenets of democracy in the state and indeed Nigeria as majority of the people would better appreciate the bills through dissemination from the stakeholders.
She enjoined the Assembly to reexamine the issue of the local government autonomy proposed by both chambers of the National Assembly, stressing that the congress strongly believe that granting autonomy to the local government councils in Nigeria would strengthen and deepen democracy in the country.
The NLC boss added that the organised labour would continue to mobilize its members to support the assembly to perform its constitutional legislative duties in the state.
She further explained that labour in the state is prepared to partner the assembly in its determination to address the plight of the workers in the state.
She added that the organised labour would continue to commend the state government in its efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
Ex-NLC Boss Tasks FG On Minimum Wage
A former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Abdulwaheed Omar has urged the Federal Government to always implement the law on regular review of the national minimum wage to promote national growth.
Omar gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja last Monday.
He said that the call for government to tackle the issue about minimum wage review had become important because of the delay in the implementation of the law.
According to him, the national minimum wage law prohibits employers from hiring workers for less than a given hourly, daily or monthly take home pay.
“The law was established to address issues faced by workers, I think the cause for review of the national minimum is welcomed; it is just that it is almost belated.
“The issue of minimum wage is an aspect of our law; it is now part of our law in Nigeria, so I did not even expect that it will take much time.
“In the first place, the law provides that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years; the five years elapsed since 2015.
“So, I had expected that that very year government should have set up a tripartite committee then.
“It is not something that government should wait until NLC threatens to embark on strike before it sets up committee, it is about the law that should be respected,” Omar said.
He said although government had promised to review the national minimum wage by the third quarter of the year, it should put measures in place to sustain such and ensure effective implementation.
He said the N18, 000 minimum wage was long overdue for review and urged government to act promptly to improve the economic well-being of workers.
PenCom Recovers N1.34bn Pension
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has recovered pension contributions and interest totalling N1.34billion from defaulting employers during the third quarter of 2017.
The Commission in its 2017 third quarter report posted on its website said it used 55 consultants as recovery agents to get back the outstanding pension contributions and penalties from the defaulting employers.
PenCom said the affected employers were issued with appropriate notice to remit the outstanding pension contributions.
“During the quarter, the sum of N1.34 billion was recovered, this brings the total recoveries made since inception of the Recovery Agents’ activities in 2012 to N13.58 billion,” it stated.
On Pension contributions within the period, it indicates that the total monthly pension contribution by contributors from the public and private sectors into their Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) was N4.38 trillion.
This, it said showed an increase of N135.22 billion representing 3.18 per cent over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.
According to the report, the aggregate total contribution shows that the public sector contributed 51.34 per cent, while the private sector contributed the remaining 48.64 per cent.
It, however, pointed out that during the quarter under review; the public sector contributed 40.87 per cent of the total contributions received while the private sector contributed 59.13 per cent.
It further revealed that the aggregate total pension contribution of the private sector increased from N2.05 trillion as at second quarter of 2017 to N2.13 trillion as at third quarter of 2017, representing a growth of 3.89 per cent.
Also, the aggregate total pension contribution by the public sector grew by 2.52 per cent from N2.20 trillion to N2.25 trillion over the same period.
The statement noted that the commission continued the ongoing refund of contributions made by military and other security service agencies personnel exempted from the contributory pension scheme.
It added that during the quarter under review, the department responsible for military pensions processed 254 applications for the refund.
PenCom said N39.83 million was refunded to the contributors while the sum of N127.13 million, representing contributions made by the Federal Government on their behalf was returned to the contributory pension account.
The statement also indicated that 27 state governments have enacted laws to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at the third quarter of 2017, while eight states were currently in the process of implementing the CPS law.
The report revealed that Yobe was, however, yet to commence the process of enacting a law on the CPS.
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