The Newspaper Distribution Association of Nigeria (NDAN) has appealed to proprietors of media houses and government to collaborate on enabling environment and life insurance for vendors, decrying unfair treatment to them.
The association made this clarion call in a communique issued recently, where it listed its priority to reposition and redirect its distributions to improve standards.
Part of its requests to media houses and government also include to provide an enabling environment for distributors and vendors by improving the infrastructure.
It also urged media owners and that government to partner the association in order to provide insurance cover for vendors in case of accident, adding that vendors and agents are endangered species, as well as other occupational hazards in the industry.
NDAN further implored the government to empower and educate distributors and vendors on their operations.
According to the communique, “Over the years, distributors and vendors had been viewed as commoners and school dropouts, but today, that has gone. Most distributors and vendors you see in the streets are graduates; some are into part-time studies in the universities and polytechnics.
“Some are parents with lots of extended family responsibilities. They carry news concerning education and also distribute news concerning the operation of the national, state and local governments.”
The association noted that the advertising and promotion agencies spend billions of naira every month to advertise products and services.
It emphasised: “These billions would not be noticed unless the vendors and agents toil by carrying out door to door canvassing, but what they get in return is peanut.”
As the usual practice, NDAN said at the end of each year, media houses dedicate pages of newspapers and magazines to appreciate advertisers and subscribers for their support and patronage, but distributors and vendors are treated as “nonentities.”
It said: “Even when these media products are prepared, the media organisation or government doesn’t place value on newspapers agents or vendors, a situation that is keen to killing a goose that lays the golden eggs.”