By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Senator, representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Solomon Adeola has promised to sponsor a bill in the Senate for the implementation of new Media Salary Scale, protection, as well as adequate welfare for journalists in Nigeria if reelected in the 2019 general poll.
Adeola, who is the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senatorial Candidate for Lagos West in the 2019 general polls, also promised to sponsor a bill against estimated electricity bill in order to protect innocent Nigerians and consumers against undue exploitation by electricity distribution companies.
He however, said the media salary scale bill when passed into law would enhance welfare of media practitioners in the performance of their constitutional role in nation building.
“Yayi” as fondly called in the political circle, made the remarks, weekend, at a media interaction at the Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos Council, tagged, ” “Meet the Press”, in Ikeja to kick start his re-election campaign for the largest senatorial district in Nigeria.
Adeola,who said he has sponsored 15 bills in the 8th Senate with two of them passed by the National Assembly as constitutional bills, added that he was motivated in making the pledge as a result of the fact that most of the major media establishments in Nigeria have their headquarters and origins in his senatorial district with many journalists as his constituents.
“It’s sad that in the performance of constitutional duty as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the profession of journalism suffers from poor remuneration, non- payment of salaries for months by media owners as well as danger to their personal safety.”
“As part of my legislative agenda for the 9th Senate, if re-elected, I want to double the number of bills that I sponsor for passage by the Senate. I will be working with you, NUJ to sponsor a bill for the welfare of journalists in Nigeria.
“The bill will address by law the issue of salary of journalists in terms of adequacy and sanctions for non- payment over long periods without any consequences, security for journalists in course of their duty as well as compulsory insurance.
“The issue of Media Salary Scale for journalists should also be backed by legislative enactment, which I am ready to champion in the next legislative session.”
On the estimated media salary scale, Adeola, lamented on the plight of Nigerians over exorbitant electricity bill by Distribution Companies, DISCOs, across the country.
He said there was the need to put the excesses of the DISCOs to check, which had been exploiting consumers without check.
“I am going to sponsor a bill in the next legislative session, that will make it mandatory for consumers to resist payment of estimated electricity bill, enough is enough.
“The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, worried over the development, had at different occasions, directed electricity consumers to resist estimated bills in view of rising complaints against estimated electricity bills in the country.
He noted that his stint of over 10 years in a media organization in the finance department affords him an insight into the financial and other challenges facing journalists in Nigeria, stressing further that, “as a profession constitutionally recognized, the profession should have some leverage in terms of remuneration, welfare, protection and other guaranteed.”
Adeola stated that in all the areas of functions of a law maker at the highest legislative body he has discharged his duties creditably to merit re-election for a second term, adding that in addition to his bill sponsorship and active participation in debate at plenary, three of his motions led to investigative committees pursuant of the oversight function of the parliament.
Adeola stated, “I have organized two major Town Hall Meetings and Empowerment Programmes for my constituents and the third one will take place before the end of the year. I facilitated ten 500KVA Transformers, 28 Boreholes, several 18 –Seater Toyota Buses for stakeholders like Obas, Council of Baales, CAN, League of Imams, LASU Student Union and LASU among other groups”
“In order to generate employment in the informal sector, i facilitated four Entrepreneur Development Programmes for Youths and Skills Acquisition for Women. This was complemented with donation of income generating equipments like block molding, welding, vulcanizing and grinding machines in hundreds for beneficiaries”, said Adeola
Earlier in his ddress, Dr. Quasim Akinreti, NUJ chairman inbtge state, commended the senator for making it a tradition of kicking off his campaign from the NUJ interaction, adding that there was the need for the senator to do more in the area of welfare of journalists in Nigeria with many journalists as his constituents either as residents or workers in the largest senatorial district in Nigeria.