Guild of Editors Urges FG To Grant Waivers On Newsprint, Others

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called on the Federal Government to grant waivers to media houses on newsprints, printing machines and other imported consumables in the industry to enable them to stay in business.

This was even the Guild said it plans to partner with government to create more jobs and make the media industry more viable.

President of the Guild, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, made the call when she led the NGE leadership to a meeting Wednesday night with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She said the industry is in distress and since it is not a non-governmental organisation (NGO) but businesses that pay taxes and pension, they are also in need of cushions, intervention funds in order to remain in business.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting,  Mrs. Egbemode, who described the discussion with Osinbajo as fruitful, assured that the media would remain professional in the discharge of their duties.

She said: “We are businesses and a sector of the economy. So, we came to talk about this sector; what are things that are available, opportunities that are available for us as businesses.

“We are leaders in the newsroom, as editors, and we want to partner, we want opportunities to train and re-train. We also came to talk about the distress in the industry…So, we came to talk about this sector, what are things that are available, opportunities that are available for us as businesses.

“Yes, we are professionals, we know what to do, just as a former president of the Guild Mr. Femi Adesina, said, we can’t get into bed with any government.

“We have a job to do, we will do it without fear or favour, but, we are also businesses, we are taxpayers, we pay pension and do every other thing that businesses do. So, why is it that we are able to support everybody, every sector? Can we get support, also, as businesses?

“Can the system provide cushions for us, can we get intervention funds? Our discussions were fruitful.”

Egbemode also applauded the positive response from the vice president.

“He has told us areas we can explore as a sector and that when we start working on it, it is possible that certain projects in the media can be looked at by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for intervention. But you know, it is business, I am sure, terms and conditions would apply.”

Asked to mention the intervention funds expected, the NGE President said: “It is work in progress. It is something that we can go and discuss with the CBN and other agencies.”

Others in the delegation included the Deputy President, Mr. Umaru Tudunwada, Treasurer, Mrs. Victoria Ibanga, and Mr. Ken Ugbechie, social/publicity secretary.