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History of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)

(Last Updated On: 16th March 2023)

Nigeria Union of Journalists

INTRODUCTION: Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) came into existence on March 15th, 1955 in Lagos as a Labour Union body. NUJ is one of the many groups that were founded to champion the struggle for Nigeria Independence in 1960. Although the many of the earlier members were not media professional, this is evidence as one of the founding fathers of the Union, late Chief Olu Oyesanya who spearheaded its formation was then an Information Officer in the Department of Information under the colonial Government (NUJ, 2017)

Meanwhile, when the Union held his second meeting some officers were elected to ship the Union and give the Union the needed impetus to achieve success particularly after the constitution of the Union had been ratified. The two main principal officers that were elected were the late Mobolaji Odunewu as the first Nigerian Chief Information Officer as the President and late Chief Olu Oyesanya as the Union Secretary. Since then, the Union has continued to move from one stage of struggle to the other (NUJ, 2017)

The expansion of the union from then became rapid as more states were created. There was awareness among members so much that where ever they found themselves, they will quickly organize themselves to form a council of the union. By 1966, there were 12 state councils. The union now operates 37 state councils, each headed by a Chairman , Secretary and other officials, six zones, each headed by a Vice President and Zonal Secretary 740 chapels(in house unions in media organisations) and has affiliate bodies like Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN). The National Secretariat of the union is located in Abuja. Before the 1977 amendments and the appointment of fulltime national secretary, the union operated a mobile secretariat whereby the secretariat was located where the Secretary resided.

Today, the NUJ apart from serving as the Trade Union for journalist and other media practitioners, it has also afforded journalists to push forward some demand often from the government should as joining hands with other stakeholders in seeking freedom of information. The official NUJ National Secretariat is at Plot 131, Cadastral Zone, Sector Center A, Jahi District, off Mabushi Ultra Modern Market Road, near Father’s church, before Next Cash & Carry Abuja. Nigeria. The mission and vision statement is that journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standards (NUJ, 2017)

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