Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Christopher Isiguzo, has commended the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, for appointing technocrats into his cabinet, particularly media professionals, which included a former Director-General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Ladan Salihu, and the current Deputy President of the NUJ, Mukhtar Gidado.
Isiguzo also expressed delight with the richness of the state executive cabinet which he said is made up of professors, doctoral degree holders, legal experts, retired military generals among others.
The NUJ president paid a courtesy call on Mohammed at the Government House in Bauchi yesterday as part of his official visit to the state to interact with journalists and various chapels of the Union in order to have a first-hand account of their challenges and best way to address them.
He expressed satisfaction with report of a good working relationship between journalists and the adminis tration, and called for the tempo to be sustained.
Isiguzo, who was in Bauchi in company of other national officials of the Union, earlier toured the roads and water projects being executed by the Mohammed-led administration, and commended the governor for the initiatives, saying they would uplift the living standard of the people.
According to him, “The governor, as a former journalist, is making us proud with the laudable and people-oriented projects he is putting in place since he assumed office, and considering his background as a journalist, I am not surprised.”
Isiguzo called on the governor to implement the weigh-in salary and allowances for media professionals considering the hazards of the profession and the special services they provide.
While thanking the governor for the hospitality accorded him and his entourage, he also appealed to the state government to ensure that the state-owned media outlets were digitalised in order for journalists to be able to compete with their counterparts in other places.
In his remarks, the state governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Baba Tela, thanked the NUJ president for the visit to the state and the commendations.
The governor assured him that the administration would ensure that the relationship with journalists is sustained by ensuring their welfare and contributions to the development of the state are recognised and rewarded.
Mohammed assured the entourage that the process of digitalisation of the state-owned media outfits was on and had been captured in the 2020 budget even as he assured them that the government was looking into the weigh-in salaries for journalists.
According to him, “We met a state that was in shambles when we came into government. There was decay of most infrastructure.”
The governor promised that his administration has taken various steps and policies to reverse the ugly trend they inherited, including the unfortunate number of out-of-school children in the state put at 1.3 million.