January 29, 2023

Enugu FRCN workers protest over poor management of station

…calls on DG to redeem image of Station

By Chinedu Adonu

Workers of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Enugu zonal station on Friday embarked on a peaceful protest over imminent collapsed and obsolete equipments in the station.

The peaceful protest was organized by the two in-house unions of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and Radio and Television and Theatre Arts Workers’ Union, RATTAWU.

The aggrieved workers who expressed dissatisfaction over the poor management and negligence of the station, appealed to the Director General, DG of FRCN, Dr Mansul Leman, to redeem the image of FRCN, Enugu Zonal Station, stressing that all the official vehicles of deputy directors, including operational ones are grounded.

Addressing the crowd, the chairman of NUJ, Comrade Obinna Ogbuka, said that the workers cannot work in an unconducive environment, stressing that no staff was allowed to express freedom of speech.

In a 9-paragraph address signed by the chairmen of NUJ and RATTAWU, Comrade, Obinna Ogbuka and Comrade Godwin Ogwo reads as follow;

“The union expresses fear over imminent collapse of the station’s operations as a result of poor signal/reception/constant dead air as a result of obsolete and poor maintenance of facilities, and called for their total overhaul, including the live studio which has become an embarrassment to the corporate image of the station.

“It notes that the Enugu Zonal Station is currently transmitting less than one kilowatt as against about twenty kilowatts of normal transmission, not minding the busy nature of commercial belt. This is unacceptable and we call on the management of the station to rise up to the challenges.

“The union expresses worry about poor sanitation and possible outbreak of epidemic in the broadcasting house due to indiscriminate defecation/ urination in the premises of the station by staff and visitors evidently due to non-availability/functionality of conviniences, and called for immediate action.

“It is regrettable to note that the only functional vehicle in the entire station was the Toyota Corolla Car currently being used by the Zonal Director. Therefore, any attempt to auction it potends doom for the station and the Zone. This however, has compelled the DDs to rely on public transport while reporters, producers and marketers have been abandoned to their fate.

“The union also frowns at plans of the management to auction FRCN official vehicles/equipments without arrangement to replace them. This will further worsen the challenges facing the station.

“The union expresses unhappiness with the difficulties faced by staff in the discharge of their duties as a result of non-availability/faulty/poor maintenance of work stations, and called on the management to address the plight of the staff.

“The union urges the management to install security solar-powered lights at the broadcasting house/transmitting station to prevent constant vandalisation of FRCN infrastructure.

“The union also appeals for reversal of the current arrangement of shutting down transmission by 9pm and re-opening it at 6am. This policy has portrayed the station in bad light, and relegated it from its leading role in the South East to a pariah broadcast station.

“The union urges the management to clear all the outstanding claims/allowances owed to staff to motivate them for productivity. The union also frowns at the non- mobilization of some staff for the last promotional exercise, and called for immediate action”.

Addressing the workers, the Deputy Director Administration of FRCN, Enugu National Station, Innocent Egwuagu commended the workers for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves.

He assured them that the management is working hard to restore the image of Enugu National station to its height.

According to him, “the DG and management have heard your demands and effort have been put in place to ensure a better Station. The DG should have addressed the issues but due to a serious engagement and I assure you, that he will address it the moment he is through,” he said.

The workers later resumed work after the protest, urging the leadership of the in-house unions not to back down on the demands.