The Vice Chancellor of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Ademola Tayo, yesterday, appealed to media houses to devote more attention to issues of insecurity, climate change, unemployment, inflation, poor or lack of health care, inequality and hunger, rather than on politicians, saying they play a critical role in the development of the country as strong facilitators of socio-economic growth and political stability.
Tayo, who made this known during a meeting with Education Writers Association of Nigeria (EWAN) in the institution, said journalists remain the key component of the community, adding: “Your constructive ideas and views have not only kept us together as an indivisible entity despite series of regional and ethnic agitations for break up, you have also sustained our democracy, and enhanced good governance.”
He also called on the government and media owners to do more than they are currently doing to enhance the practice and living standards of Nigerian journalists.
According to him, “It is high time that lifetime retirement benefits for journalists were put in place. This will ensure more commitment of journalists to their profession and enhance standard of practice. We read of journalists who after losing their job, or after retirement or due to health challenge groan under the gruesome weight of poverty, and no one, not even those they helped to become popular or successful, would look in their direction. This is not the way to reward the men and women of the pen who have diligently served the country.”
The VC, however, expressed concern about the lack of trust in the media, which has also been connected to declining trust in government and other institutions, adding that the media is seen as being controlled by powerful people who want to push their personal agenda rather than serve the public.
Tayo advised journalists that in spite of the trials and tribulation some of them might be facing for diligently pursuing their career in the country’s best interest, they should continue to uphold the tenets of truth, objectivity, fairness and integrity which are the hallmarks of great journalism.
He emphasised on some of its achievements in the last two decades, saying the university has significantly contributed to nation’s socio-political, industrial and cultural development through innovations. We are proposing to our School of Engineering and Environmental Sciences in the nearest future. Our distance and e-Learning Centre has taken off after the approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC). We also have an Independent Power Project (IPP) on campus where we ensure 24 hours electricity supply to the institution.”
The VC disclosed that the institution spends N95 million monthly on the project to keep the school running.