As part of efforts to improve salaries and allowances of its workers, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday held a two-day workshop for nodal officers of the agency.
The workshop which held in Lagos, was organised by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
The Managing Director of the agency, Mr Buki Ponle, said on assumption of office in September, 2020, he noted the poor salaries and inadequate allowances of staff when compared to the volume and nature of work being undertaken.
Ponle was represented by the agency’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Oladele Ojo.
“Workers in the agency deserve more than the cursory attention, compared to its peers within parastatal agencies under the Ministry of Information and Culture.
“Many of them have better pay package than members of staff of NAN.
“Indeed, NAN remains the only national purveyor of information with clear cut mandate that places such onerous responsibilities on the agency.
“It is no exaggeration that we work laboriously to achieve results, yet we receive so little, ‘’ he said.
The managing director said that in spite of the inadequate salaries and running cost, workers in the agency had been diligently and faithfully executing the mandate set out for it in its Act.
He said in 2020 alone, a whopping 61,319 stories were transmitted to the agency’s clients.
“With a monthly average of about 5,000 stories, 700 pictures, 100 videos and 50 audio clips transmitted to a diverse clientele made up of about 300 public and corporate subscribers, NAN has consistently remained the medium of choice.
“If so much is being done in spite of the lean take-home pay of our workers, it is better imagined what the leap in productivity would be if our workers benefit from increased salaries and allowances,’’ Ponle said.
Also, the Director, Administration and Human Resources, NAN, Mr Abdulhadi Khaliel, said the aim of the workshop was to improve productivity and welfare of staff.
Khaliel said also that from the perspective of the employer and employee, everybody needs to meet up with his or her obligations.
“As an employee, you will ensure that you are productive, for the employer, he is to ensure that employees are compensated accordingly.
“Since the assumption of Mr Buki Ponle as the managing director, we have engaged the Salaries and Wages Commission to ensure that the welfare of staff is enhanced.
“This workshop is just part of the process, because it is a process. You have to be assessed, enlightened of what is expected of you.
“So, as part of the process to that end product is what is happening here today,’’ he said.
In her remarks, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs Gbemisola Erinoso-Babalola said that the negotiation for increase in staff salaries had been on for quite a while.
“However, even when we aspire to this, we are insisting that our staff must give more.
“So, we are hopeful that after this session, the commission will write a report, which I am hopeful will be positive for the benefit of the agency,’’ Erinoso-Babalola said. (NAN)