The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has asked the federal government for the bailout to revive the Nigerian media industry in view of the effects of the Covid-19 on the industry.
The body of Editors in a communiqué issued at the end of its Standing Committee meeting held in Enugu, Enugu state, last Friday, said the intervention became necessary in order to save the media from total collapse.
The Guild listed the required government’s intervention to include the removal of tariffs on all imported media consumables, including newsprint and broadcasting equipment, among others.
“The Standing Committee acknowledges the sacrifices being made by media owners and journalists to sustain the survival of media businesses in these dire times; with the operating environment made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. The following decisions were taken:
“The meeting emphasizes the compelling need for government intervention to save the media from total collapse.
“The Guild lists the required government intervention to include, but not limited to, removal of tariffs on all imported media consumables, including newsprint and broadcasting equipment; to help protect jobs and also ensure the continued existence and operation of the various media houses, be they print, electronic or new media.
“The body of Editors also points out that using public funds to finance private sector operations to save them from bankruptcy and collapse is not new and had been adopted in other countries, including the United States of America, where government voted public funds to save the US automobile industry, the banking sector and other sectors from insolvency during the financial crisis of 2008 and currently the $2 trillion bailout budget in 2020 for private equities amid the Covid-19 scourge.
“The meeting recalls that the Nigerian Government has at various times in the past and during the Covid-19 era, voted public money as intervention funds for other sectors of the economy, including the aviation industry, which at this moment is largely private-sector driven.
“It notes however, that the media appears to have been excluded in virtually all government interventions, through such agencies as the Central Bank and the Bank of Industry, thus leaving the media industry to trudge on like an orphan’’, the Guild said.