The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council has observed that the monetary policies of the apex bank , central bank of Nigeria do not seem to be working in curbing inflationary trend in Nigeria.
The Chapel made the observation in a communique issued at the end of a 4-day Retreat/Chapel Week at Roses Regency Hotel and Suites, Wuye, Abuja, on the theme: 2023: IN SEARCH OF A BETTER NIGERIA THROUGH RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM.
The Communique jointly signed by Chairman of the Chapel, Comrade Idongesit Ashameri and Chairman of the Communique drafting Committee, Dr Joe Effiong drew strength from a lecture on “The Place of the Media in Shaping Monetary Policies for Better Economy, by Prof. Uche Uwaleke, Chairman, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria;
The chapel after intensive deliberations on the CBN policies therefore opined that such policies cannot work in controlling cost-push inflation because of the high cost of production such as diesel, gas, transportation, energy, as well as insecurity
It however called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure prompt release of adequate and timely information to the media for onward distillation to the public. It further warned the media against inflammatory headlining of stories on monetary economy.
The communique stated, “that since the extent to which the public understanding of the CBN Monetary Policy is dependent on the quality and quantity of information made available to the media, the CBN should ensure that it provides the media with adequate and timely information for onward distillation to the public.
“That the media should guard against alarmist or inflammatory headlining of stories on monetary and economic policies of the nation so as not to cause panicky activities in the economy, which could lead to avoidable rise in inflation.
“That government should stop the practice of taking non concessionary loans based only on assumed windfall, sometimes called miracle money, as such loans are not only illegal and illegitimate, but also have the tendency of mortgaging the future generations of the state to perennial loan servicing;
“That the fiscal documents of Akwa Ibom State should be domiciled at one location for easy reference instead of the present practice of scattering them to various places like the Budget Office, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General Office, Auditory General Office, etc.
“That media organizations should live up to the responsibility of training and retraining their staff, especially, journalists instead of leaving such an important activity to NGOs, or staff to train themselves”.
Aimed at intellectually and professionally re-equiping members of the Chapel and other journalists within and outside Akwa Ibom State for the task of effective reportage of the forthcoming general elections in 2023 and beyond, the Correspondents’ Chapel noted sadly that the refusal or delay in regular payment of media worker’s entitlements has hugely impacted negatively on ethics of Journalism profession. The communique further stated,
“The refusal or delay in regular payment of media worker’s entitlements does not only amount to abuse and harassment of the workers, but is also a deliberate act to subject such workers to economic insecurity which could engender unethical practice.
“That Media organization should provide adequate and appropriate security equipment and insurance to their staff covering violent conflict environment’
“That Media organizations should make transparency their watchword by regularly publishing their annual returns as done by other responsible organizations;
“That journalists should display a high level of professionalism devoid of partisanship, favoritism, bias in their reportage of the 2023 elections and their fallouts thereof”. It added.
Other topics treated at the retreat included among others “The Role of the Media in Budget Tracking, by Tijah Akpan, CEO, Policy Alert and Safety and Security of the Media in a Volatile Environment by CSP Vanderfan James Tersugh (retd).
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