By Inusa Musah
On the back of the poor remuneration of journalists in Ghana, young journalists especially, have been advised to take advantage of the government’s ‘Planting For Food And Jobs’ to better their earnings.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions, which are paid on how much an employee earns, Chief Oyeyemisola Fatuyi, President of Nigeria Business Forum (NBF)-Ghana, continued, cannot be enough to give a better economic future to the Ghanaian journalists, most of whom are stringers.
“Though your profession is very nice and respected, does that commensurate with your earnings? Nice professions alone cannot guarantee you a reliable financial future, considering how your profession is being taken over by the advent of online media,” Chief Oyeyemi told a section of the media during a round table discussion in Tema.
The meeting was hosted by the NBF-Ghana President, who is also a professional Security and Risk Management Consultant, and making a strong case, said the time has come for journalists to run private businesses, side-by-side their profession.
With the establishment of more media houses, and with most Ghanaian literates taking to social media to spread first-hand news, which are not censored, the West African Peace Ambassador said have brought about strong competition, with most media houses, in effect, struggling for adverts to raise revenue to pay their bills and salaries of their staff.
“Journalists should not disregard how lucrative farming is…no journalist will be poor once he or she adds farming to their profession,” he advised.
This week, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) launched its ‘One Journalist, One House’ project dubbed the ‘GJA Media Village Project’.
The GJA Media Village project is aimed at helping accredited members in the Fourth Estate of the realm, to own houses, either before or after retirement.
The GJA President, Roland Affail Monney, in his address at the launch, decried the poor condition journalists live in, saying: “Most journalists in Ghana continue to live in poverty, due to the poor remuneration and conditions under which they work, thereby, making it virtually impossible for them to own houses.”
The Media Village would be constructed by Koans Estate Limited at Pampaso in Nsawam, Eastern Region, and a journalist would have to part with GH¢60,000 for an affordable house.
As one of the lead sponsors of the 22nd GJA Awards, Koans Estate Limited awarded Kwame Sefa Kayi, of Peace FM, 2016 Journalist of The Year, with a three-bedroom house worth GH¢200,000 at the Media Village as his prize, making him the first journalist to own a house at the village.
Describing the initiative as laudable, Chief Oyeyemisola Fatuyi wondered how many journalists, considering their present financial standing, can raise GH¢60,000 for one decent home at the village.
“This is where the journalist must take the risk to create another source of decent employment for himself or herself, so that he or she can also live in such a decent home, when he or she goes on retirement,” he said.
Chief Oyeyemisola Fatuyi, who is contesting for the office of Senate of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, to represent Lagos West Senatorial in Abuja, in 2019, promised Ghanaian journalists free business ideas NBF-Ghana is ready to offer to make them financially independent, whilst they still enjoy being the watch dogs of the nation.
NBF-Ghana is a non-governmental organisation, aimed at fostering unity among Nigerians in the diaspora, through seminars, business conferences, workshops and skill, acquisition for nationals roaming the streets of Ghana.
Again, the NBF-Ghana is aimed at promoting Nigerian products and services, and coordinate their own medium, small-scale and corporate businesses here in Ghana, by rendering first-class services to both new and prospective Nigeria businesses and comp