President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has urged the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to transmit a Bill to the National Assembly for the regulation of media operations.
He charged the union to send the bill to the assembly before the end of first quarter of 2016, assuring the Senate would give it necessary legislative action and quick passage.
Saraki made the call when he received the President of NUJ, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, on a visit to his office in Abuja on Monday.
“The law recognises journalism as a profession, but as you said, many people have joined the profession and in the process, they have done more harm than good to it.
“In my profession, if you are a quack, you will not last, but in your profession the quacks last more,’’ he said.
Saraki said that the 8th Senate would continue to operate an open policy to ensure that Nigerians were carried along in the discharge of its duties.
He called on the NUJ to continue to work with the legislature in delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Earlier, Odusile had called on the National Assembly to support NUJ in ensuring that a law to regulate media practice in the country was promulgated.
He particularly said that such would check quackery in media practice and negligence of staff of staff welfare by media owners.
Odusile said that journalism in Nigeria was faced with many constraints, and that enactment of a law to regulate the practice would go a long way in repositioning the profession.
He said that the journalism was the only profession empowered by the Constitution to monitor governance and hold government accountable to the people.
The NUJ president, however, said that the union was not accorded its due position in the country.
According to him, we are not satisfied with the way journalism is being practiced in the country today.
He also solicited the support of the lawmakers for a law on special salary structure for media practitioners in the country.
“We need the support of the national assembly; we are working on a media salary structure and we need a law to also help us in that direction.
“We are not properly empowered in terms of remuneration. We work 24 hours, but we are not adequately remunerated,’’ he said.