Kudos to The Punch, The Nation - By Lekan Otufodunrin - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Saturday, 8 June 2019

Kudos to The Punch, The Nation - By Lekan Otufodunrin

Mr Victor Ifijeh (Right), present MD/EIC of The Nation used to be a staff of The Punch headed by Mr Ademola Osinubi, MD/EIC ( left)

Since last night when I got the alert confirming the payment of the backlog of my pension contribution and that of The Nation where I used to work till December last year, I have been feeling compelled to call out the newspaper and The Punch for special commendation.

was a staff of both newspapers for twelve years each. 

If we accuse those who don’t meet their obligations to their staff, we should commend those who do without defaulting on any. The staff are entitled to the payments, but with the depression in the media sector, there is always one reason or the other, which are not necessarily justified, why some companies claim they can’t pay as at when due despite the heavy workload of journalists.

While I worked in The Punch (1987-1999), I was not owed any salary. When I resigned, I got all my entitlements. One year basic pay for ten years’ service and one month’s pay for every other year spent in the company. All my outstanding leave bonuses and unspent leave were paid.

Last December, I moved on from The Nation (2006-2018) and like The Punch, I got all my dues.
One month before my exit, having given three-month notice as a management staff, I got a letter stating my entitlements. I had time to get clarifications on what I was to be paid, including one-year basic salary for ten years’ service and one month’s pay for extra years and unspent leave. 
For pension deduction, there were some unpaid contributions which I was informed about and have now been cleared.

With organisations like The Punch and The Nation, where one spent a considerable number of years, the prompt payment of the guaranteed entitlements makes it easier to plan for life in ‘retirement’.  

I know there are some other media companies like The Nation and The Punch, but there are many that have become notorious for not paying journalists salaries, not to talk of entitlements.

I have heard harrowing stories of journalists who left where they worked for a better part of their career with practically nothing. In some media houses, there are no clear conditions of service. No one is sure of what he or she is entitled to if sacked or voluntarily resigns.

It’s not realistic to expect journalists to meet the high standard of performance expected of them when they are treated as casual workers.

For both The Punch and The Nation, one thing I can confirm as their strong point is their largely efficient management and commitment to standard corporate culture.

When I joined The Punch in May 1987, the company was owning some month’s salaries and was battling to survive, but it overcame various challenges and has emerged as the top newspaper organization in the country.

Contrary to what many may believe, The Nation’s status in the industry, which has earned it Newspaper of the Year twice, is a product of living within its earnings, not any ‘deep pocket’ support and the committed staff who earn a very modest salary. 
Our media houses need to be better managed if they are to be good corporate citizens in all ramifications, especially their responsibilities to their staff.

Kudos again to The Punch and The Nation, may the companies continue to grow from strength to strength. 

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