Nigerian journalists to picket ThisDay, Newswatch Times over non-payment of salaries

Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman of Leaders & Company Limited, which runs THISDAY Newspaper titles and Arise TV Network

The Nigerian Union of Journalists has said that it will picket the headquarters of ThisDay and Newswatch newspapers over non-payment of journalists’ salaries.

In separate letters to Nduka Obaigbena and Jimoh Ibrahim, the owners of ThisDay and Newswatch Times Newspapers respectively, the NUJ urged the management to “urgently” offset the backlog of salaries of journalists in the organization.

While ThisDay journalists have not been paid for seven months, those at Newswatch Times (formerly known as Newswatch) are being owed about six months.

The NUJ stressed, in their letter, that the successes recorded by THISDAY and Newswatch Times Newspapers could be attributed to the hard work of its members who toil daily to ensure the Newspapers never fail to hit the news stand.

“It is thus imperative to note that in order to maintain a harmonious working relationship, staff salaries should not be allowed to accumulate,” the NUJ stated in the letter dated March 3 and signed by Shu’aibu Usman, the National Secretary.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES over the phone, Mr. Usman said that the union will not disclose the dates for picketing the companies.

“It can be this week, next week, or anytime. The more we leave it open, the better for us,” he said.

Last January, ThisDay Newspapers workers’ attempt to protest their backlog of unpaid salaries was met with brute force as Mr. Obaigbena unleashed armed police officers on them.

In April last year, following the terrorist attack at ThisDay’s Abuja office which claimed two lives, Mr. Obaigbena who was also owing salary arrears at the time, attributed the non-payment of salaries to the incident.

The ThisDay boss had said that the company lost “buildings, multi-million dollar printing and computer-to-plate equipments” to the attack by Boko Haram insurgents.

“No one planned for a terror attack in Nigeria and so we were left to fend for ourselves,” Mr. Obaigbena had said in a letter to staff.

“Despite that, we continued to meet our commitments as due. But when the cost of outsourcing printing to third parties caught up with us, things began to slow.

“After paying N600 million in unplanned costs to outside printers, we began to feel the pain from October last year when many of you began to experience some delays in salary payments.”


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  • Africa

    Potbellied criminal, please pay your staff…This is why the news media is so compromised with journalist forced to live on ‘brown envelopes’..

  • TRUTH MASTER

    Upon all the Egunje this Obaigbena gets from GEJ, he still can’t pay his workers? Birds of a feather flock together, truly!

  • ogbuefiakajiaku

    No wonder punch sold their soul to APC

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    How can an employer not pay employees for 6 or 7 months? It is sheer wickedness. I hear that the Osun State Government is also owing its workers 6 months’ salaries. It is just unacceptable.

  • robo

    Are the journalists on salary in the first. It is a common knowledge that This day journalists are on ‘fend for your are go to the field’

  • G4

    How much is that awful uninteresting unbalanced arise tv that has very little to do with Nigeria or Africa costing Thisday, with all the foreign presenters on their payroll. I have a feeling those presenters in London are not being owed 6 months salary

  • fosi

    Your claimed sir, that western democracy’s drawback in undeveloped countries like Nigeria is lack of education of the populace or voters. Only wondering why you ruefully stated that a ‘few’ persons rejected 1993 presidential election results that were widely accepted by the majority. Is it the same majority
    you referred to as a lacking education, which is one major reason why western democracy has failed in undeveloped countries? Could it very well be that these few persons who rejected the will or wish of the majority understand that if the majority are uneducated they are not capable of making informed choices? Just wondering!