The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called on the federal government to grant waivers to media houses on importation of newsprints, printing machines and other consumables in the industry.
President of the guild, Mrs Funke Egbemode, who made the call at a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Wednesday night at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said granting the waiver would enable media houses stay in business.
According to her, since media houses run businesses that pay taxes and pensions, they are also in need of intervention funds in order to remain in business.
She said the industry was in distress, hence the need for partnership with government to create more jobs and make the media industry more viable.
Egbemode, who described the discussion with the vice president as fruitful, assured that media practitioners in the country would remain professional in the discharge of their duties.
“We are businesses and a sector of the economy. So, we came to talk about this sector, what are things that are available, opportunities that are available for us as businesses. We are leaders in the newsroom as editors and we want to partner, we want opportunities to train and re-train.
“We also came to talk about the distress in the industry. You know, we are not Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), we are businesses and a sector of the economy. So, we came to talk about this sector, what are things that are available, opportunities that are available for us as businesses.
“Yes, we are professionals, we know what to do, like former President of the Guild Mr. Femi Adesina said, we can’t get into bed with any government. We have a job to do, we will do it without fear or favour but we are also businesses, we are taxpayers, we pay pension and do every other thing that businesses do. So, why is it that we are able to support everybody, every sector? Can we get support also as businesses? Can the system provide cushions for us, can we get intervention funds? Our discussions were fruitful,” she said.