Abuja Chapter of the Newspaper Vendors Association, has cried out to the Federal CapitalTerritory[FCT] Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), complaining that their business of selling newspapers is at the verge of extinction due to the proliferation of social media in the country.
Chairman of the Association, Comrade Samuel Jimoh, who stated this when he and members of his executive paid a courtesy call on the NUJ Abuja Council Chairman, Comrade Chuks Ehirim, said they came to see ways the council could help them out from their present predicament.
The Vendors Association appealed to the NUJ boss to take their message to the national body saying that even though they did not know how the publishers benefit from the online postings, they would prefer they delay their daily postings until late in the day when the daily papers would have sold reasonably.
Comrade Jimoh also complained about the statement credited to the FCT Minister’s Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr Nosike Ogbuenyi , that the vendors circulate junks stressing that they would want the union to alert them on any publication that is harmful to individuals or any segment of the society before they take such to the market.
In view of the drastic drop in the sales of the newspapers, Jimoh solicited the assistance of the NUJ on their proposed skill acquisition project so that vendors would have something to fall back on when some of them can no longer move about to sell papers due to old age.
Responding the NUJ Chairman Comrade Ehirim said there was nothing anybody could do about the social media which he said is a global trend, advising the vendors to be more vigorous in their sales as newspaper sales remain the bulk of Africa’s source of information due to computer illiteracy on the part of many people.
He described their business as a vital one in the chain of newspaper production and distribution as most people still rely on them for their readership of the papers, saying the union would continue to support them and protect their relevance provided they operated within the confine of the law.
Comrade Ehirim assured the vendors that the union would do all in its power to support them in their effort to diversify through skill acquisition by introducing them to the authorities in the FCT.