By James Ibechi
The Voice newspapers published by the Benue State Government has been privatised.
The visit of the privatization committee which was recently inaugurated by Governor Samuel Ortom, to the organization yesterday, confirmed this.
The Voice newspaper had been grouped among 22 moribund government establishments to be privatized by the Ortom administration.
It was established in the second republic as Nigerian Voice and at that time, it was vibrant with a fair share of the Nigerian newspapers market.
Despite a good collection of trained and competent reporters, The Voice newspapers, since 1999, had witnessed a poor circulation due to poor funding of the successive state government coupled with corruption and ethnic discrimination in the organization.
The worst case of ethnic discrimination witnessed in the organization was the wrongful removal of the first Idoma-born editor of the newspapers since 1999, Dr. Elvis Ogenyi by the Information Commissioner, Ngunaan Addingi in connivance with the General Manager, Mr. Ben Agande on pure ethnic grounds.
Among over 40 reporters, there were less than four Idoma and only One Igede in The Voice newspapers before it was privatised.
Besides, many staff of the organization who should have retired long ago had strangely remained on their jobs without the knowledge of government.
Those staff who shunned retirement were afraid of the sufferings of government retirees in Benue State and so they devised means of prolonging their stay in office. They however, caused mischief and under developed the organization with their idle state.
Staff of the Benue Printing and Publishing Corporation, publishers of The Voice newspapers are pensionable staff of the Benue State government now waiting for new postings.
It is expected that competent and qualified ones among them will be posted to enrich the Mass Communication department of the Benue State University, Makurdi while others are posted to ministries and agencies of government and those to be retired fished out.
Categories: James Ibechi