A total number of 40 bills await Goodluck Jonathan’s approval to become Acts of the National Assembly. The Chairman of the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Information, Zakari Mohammed said this.
It was at a forum organized by Correspondent’s Chapel of the Oyo State NUJ in Ibadan, that Mohammed made this known.
He further stated that the house would have invoked the relevant portion of the constitution to handle the situation, but according to him, “the political mood of the country had been a sort of handicap”.
At the program, Mohammed also delivered a paper titled: ‘The Nigerian Press and Democratic Governance; the Journey So Far’.
He pointed out that the media coverage of democracy in the last 16 years has not really been impressive, saying that there were lot of vices going within the polity which the Nigerian press has not done enough about reporting.
“Not only that our media practitioners are not doing enough of whistle blowing, the political actors run to the media for cover,’’ he said.
Mohammed said Nigerians should be tired of politicians and the media in the last 16 years because of their unwritten collaboration to rob the country of robust democratic gains.
“How much of corruption have the media been able to expose in the country?’’
The lawmaker charged the media practitioners to place the interest of the country above any other consideration.
“To entrench democracy, we should not monetize the profession; we owe this country a lot; other countries are only better than Nigeria because of organization.
“The dullest of lawyer is treated with decorum; there must be an entry point into the profession like the medical, law, accounting and other professions to enhance the dignity of the profession; the image of journalists should be worked upon.
“If you are shabbily treated, you will be shabbily rewarded,’’ he said.
He said that some of the practitioners in the National Assembly had been making efforts to ensure legislation against poor remuneration of journalists with a promise that he would not relent.