Gombe - The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Gombe State Council, said it had earmarked N1 million for the payment of premium for insurance of its 200 members.
Alhaji Alhassan Yahaya, the Chairman of the council, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Thursday that the Executive Council of the union resolved to pay the amount due to the security challenges in the state.
"Actually, what prompted us to do that is that we considered the situation, especially in our zone, that is the North East.
"If you look at what is happening in the zone, we feel, as practicing journalists, that we should insure our members.
"We calculated and found out that we are going to spend about N1 million for all working journalists and we have the money on ground.
"We have more than 200 members and each person is expected to pay N6, 750," he said.
He said that the scheme, which was initiated by the National Secretariat of the union, was to ensure that families of any deceased journalist received about N1.5 million.
On the source of the money, he said "we got it through goodwill from friends of the union".
Yahaya said that the measure was part of his campaign promises, adding that after the payment, the council would sensitise its members to the importance of the scheme.
The chairman said that beneficiaries of the scheme must be employees with permanent and pensionable appointment, either at the state or federal level, working in Gombe State.
He said that the union had constituted a committee to screen members to ensure that beneficiaries were genuine members.
On the welfare for the members, he said that there were plans by the council and a leasing company to provide laptop computers on loan basis.
Yahaya also expressed gratitude to Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo for approving the payment of weigh-in allowances for journalists in the state civil service.
He said that more than 130 journalists had benefited from workshops and seminars since his assumption of office about a year ago.