The Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria, Silas Nwoha, has called on the management of the agency to prioritise the funding of editorial operations.
Nwoha made the appeal on Wednesday in Ilorin in his remark at the opening of a two-day NAN Annual Editorial Conference.
He called for urgent approval of additional incentives for the editorial department to encourage hard work and total commitment.
He also appealed to the management to review reporters monthly transport allowance upward and pay staff entitlements like transfer allowances as and when due.
The E-I-C noted that members of the editorial department were currently working under impossible conditions.
Nwoha said: “It is truly a miracle that NAN has continued to dominate the Nigerian media space in spite of the acute challenges.
“I give kudos to our men and women, who have had to train themselves on the job, use their salaries to ensure that they get things done for NAN to remain relevant.
“I salute everyone as we continue to ask the government to look into the plight of NAN workers.
“We will do more if given the opportunity to serve the way we want to.”
Besides, he appealed to the Managing Director, Buki Ponle, to provide more funds for sponsorship of NAN correspondents to cover special assignments, recalling: “This is how it used to be.
“More so, the working environment needs to be seriously looked into, especially at the state and district offices.
“Basic facilities such as chairs, tables, televisions and water dispensers should be provided for NAN offices nationwide.
“Management should please consider recruiting more hands for the editorial department.
“More district offices should be opened to report activities at the grassroots.”
According to Nwoha, the strength of the agency lies in its ability to report activities in Nigeria’s 774 local government areas.
He said: “Training of members of the editorial department should be given urgent attention.
“The department is plagued by lack of trained manpower, especially with the few skilled ones steadily going into retirement.
“The future looks bleak, considering the quality of our output from day to day.”
According to him, the NAN Forum has continued to dominate the media space from week to week, highlighting the place of the agency as the dominant media house in Nigeria.
Nwoha said: “We continue to advice ministers, government functionaries and captains of industry to take advantage of NAN Forum to showcase their activities.
“Records show that the editorial department turned out more stories, photos, television reports and news features this year, compared to the year 2020.
“This is in spite of the teething challenges facing reporters and editors in our daily efforts to do our duties.”
He listed the challenges to include lack of working tools such as midgets, computers, laptops, vehicles and even writing pads and biros.
“No media house can function optimally when gadgets needed for modern-day journalism are totally lacking,” he said.
No fewer than 60 participants are attending the Ilorin retreat.
NAN recalls that the editorial conference was last held in 2019 in Lafia, Nasarawa State.