Comrade Joseph Robert, chairmanship candidate for the August 1, elections of the Akwa Ibom State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists says he will give attention to training and welfare of members if elected chairman.
Robert said he will clear the three years backlog of welfare purses accumulated in the out-going administration.
He said welfare purses will be given to deserving members without discrimination or favouritism.
“Members’ welfare will be a priority of our administration. We shall clear a backlog of the welfare packages to members on marriages, child dedication and burials. We shall increase the welfare packages and clear all outstanding welfare purses due for members in the past three years. To ensure this, we shall set aside five per cent deduction on every income to the State council for that purpose”.
Robert during the official flag-off of his campaigns on Friday, June 22,2016 at the conference hall of the Ministry of Information and Communications said his plans for the union were subsumed into a five point agenda.
He said his administration will be driven by transparency and accountability, stressing that the finance and appropriations committee currently managing funds of the union was illegal and will be abolished.
“We shall abolish the illegal finance and appropriations committee and revert union approvals to the State Working Committee. The treasurer and financial secretary shall take full charge in the performance of their constitutionally assigned duties and nobody will be appointed to direct them. The Auditor will be restricted to oversight functions as defined by the constitution”.
Comrade Robert, a two term State secretary of the union also said his administration will pursue vigorously payment of 22.5 per cent weigh-in allowance to journalists working in government-owned media organs and will institute a vibrant co-operative society to facilitate loans for members.
He pledged to pursue the completion of all uncompleted projects at the press centre to make facilities at the centre self-sustaining.
Robert said his administration will redesign the abandoned auditorium to make it fit for purposes of hosting events, and undertake total landscaping of the centre.
The chairmanship candidate further hinted that his administration will create what he called “NUJ roundtable”, as a forum of interaction with the public.
He said while “the union shall maintain a cordial and functional relationship with government, it shall not abdicate its responsibilities as society’s watchdogs”.
Robert added that emphasis will be on training, professionalism, inclusiveness and discipline in the union.