(NNN staff carrying placards on Tuesday)
Again, the staff of the New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN) limited, on Tuesday (12-02-2019) staged a peaceful protest at the company’s headquarters in Kaduna, to demand for accumulated entitlements due to them.
They made a personate appeal to the 19 Northern States Governors, who are the owner of the company, to honour agreement in good time before some of them, especially their Chairman and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shetima, vacate their seat after elections.
It is important to note that, the Federal Government handed over NNN to the Northern States around 1996, and the company, has not remain the same since then. It has, in fact, stopped publications a few years ago but now operating only online version because more than two third of the owners refused to give their monthly subvention.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), NNN Chapel, Dekera Nicholas, said, there was no better time for the owners to do the needful than now.
According to him, “there was a recommendation by a committee set up by the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) to look into NNN issues and made recommendations.
“That committee has since done with its findings and had submitted same including its recommendations to the owner for implementation.
“Now, part of the recommendations therein was that, part of the company’s property be valued and disposed so that the proceed can be used to offset debts especially, the workers entitlements and put the company in good shape.
“While that was ongoing, the pensioners took the company to court thereby caused temporary storage of the initial plans. Now, that issue of pensioners had been largely resolved. In fact, they are enjoying their monthly pension now.
“So, what we are saying in essence is that, since those impediments have been addressed to a large extent, they should honour their promises. Some of our members are old people. They need money for their medical and other utility bills. Some of us could not pay house rent. We want the owners to come to our rescue”, he urged.
Some of the protesters were seen with placards with varying inscriptions such as, “Pay us our entitlements”, “Northern governors settle our entitlements now”, “Shettima act before you go”, “El-Rufai you can do something for NNN” among others.