FRCN Workers Protest Obsolete Equipment, Poor Working Conditions

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Workers of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) have protested what they described as poor service delivery as a result of obsolete equipment, particularly transmitters and generators as well as poor working conditions.

The workers under the aegis of FRCN In-House Unions comprising of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWUand Senior Staff Association (SSA) during the peaceful protest which held within the premises of the organization raised placards with inscriptions including: ‘Ensure regular training of staff for optimum service delivery’, ‘Improve staff welfare’ and ‘provide operational vehicles for staff on essential duty’ among others.  

Some of their demands include: replacement of the about 60 years old equipment including transmitters and generators, ensuring regular training for staff for optimum service delivery, exempting FRCN from remittance of 25 percent to Federal Government because it is a public service oriented broadcaster, improving staff welfare, provision of operational vehicles for staff on essential duty and settlement of outstanding staff allowances.

They also demanded for on-the-spot assessment of all FRCN facilities across the country by the Minister of Information and Culture for immediate implementation of demand while they request the Federal Government to intervene on the outrageous electricity bills charged by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria on a monthly basis.

In an interview during the protest, the chairperson for RATTAWU, FRCN chapter in Kaduna state, Comrade Halimatu S. Abdulmumuni said that the protest became necessary as a follow up to the communique of the FRCN In-house Unions summit which held in May, 2018 at Ilorin, Kwara state as well as several meetings with management of the Corporation.

“We held a meeting first at Lagos where we deliberated and issued a communiqué to the Director General so that he can represent it to the Minister of Information but in our own thinking, the communiqué did not get to him and that was why we came up with an in-house union comprising of RATTAWU, NUJ and SSA, we met recently in Ilorin where we came up with another communiqué, which FRCN Abuja submitted to the DG,”

“In the communique, an ultimatum of 30 days from May to June 30 was given after which we planned to hold a peaceful protest so that government can come to our aid. In Kaduna FRCN, most of our equipment are over 50 years old, we are just managing, no modern equipment, and no new cable has been fixed in our transmission stations. Also, the generators we are using are outdated, especially in Jaji. The electricity bill charged Kaduna FRCN on a monthly basis is N8 million; as such, monies generated goes to PHCN because if we don’t pay, they disconnect us and that means total black to our listeners,” she lamented.

She therefore called on government, institutions and well meaning Nigerians to come to their rescue by providing modern equipment for operations as well as show concern for the well being of staff of the organization so as to ensure optimum service delivery.

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The Institute for Media and Society is an independent, non-governmental organization based in Nigeria. The institute was established in April 2000. In establishing the organization, we considered and were convinced of such issues as: the inter-relationship between the well-being of a society and its media as well as between the state of the media and the responsiveness and growth of societal institutions. the institutionalization of democracy and development in Nigeria being nourished by a free and pluralistic media structure, culture and environment.

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