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Put On Your Thinking Cap, Okowa Tells State Own Media House

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has charged the management of the Delta State Printing and Publishing Company, publishers of the Pointer Newspapers, to think of helping the media house to perform better and generate revenue to the coffers of the state instead of crying more than the bereaved.

The governor who reacted to a question put across to him by a staff of the media outfit and former chairmanship candidate in the 2017 Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State Council elections, Sir Fidelix Egugbo, noted that Pointer Newspaper is still being housed by the then defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), secretariat in Asaba.

Sir Egugbo also disclosed that some top management staff of the company have no official vehicles even as he said the printing press also lacks manpower.

But the governor in his response during the 2018 Quarterly Media Interaction Wednesday held in Unity Hall, Government House, lambasted the media house, calling on them to think outside the box to be able to sustain itself like other media houses that pay the bulk of salaries and yet they expand.

According to Okowa, “the issue of The Pointer and his offices, I don’t want to criticize anybody but most companies around here, the Vanguard Newspapers, Daily Independent Newspapers and other states papers, generate their funds from sales and adverts, they are able to pay their staff and they are able to run their services”, he noted.

He said that the state has taken off the shoulder of The Pointer Newspapers, the salary burden, but are yet to raise funds to do the needful, “but here at the level of the state, we pay the staff of Pointer, they retain their sales”, expressing worries on what the problem of the printing company could be.

He charged them to move away from the old order where government provides everything for a government establishment to work, “can we not be commercially oriented in what we do? Okowa asked.

“we must have a mindset different from the past where we are able to achieve things on our own and until we develop that mindset, we will continue to run things in such a manner that it does not work, we must find way that we must be a little more competitive”, stressing that it may not be like the aforementioned newspapers, saying “but we must strive to see what we can do because in the first instance, the state government pays up the salaries and if the state government is taking up the salaries, it means what you generate should be able to effectively do a whole lot of things”.

He said it is not a gigantic building that brings about effective functionality, stressing that big buildings does not makes it work.

The governor said if from what the company generates, it decided to buy vehicles, the state government would not be opposed to it, “because we are not taking any money from what you generate”.

He frowned at the situation where the newspaper is being distributed round his office, house and government functionaries offices as free copies, “even the ones they supply to my house, I asked the Commissioner why they have to bring it free. I buy other newspapers. So, why can’t they buy Pointer?

He noted that it was a wrong mentality for a copy of The Pointer Newspaper to be distributed round the offices of the Deputy Governor, Commissioners and other government staff, “you must develop the right mentality to move on”, he charged them.

He however commended the paper for its competitiveness, saying that they must realized that the paper needed to be sold, “so let us sit back and think and see how we can drive that paper in the right direction”, he added.