By Akawu Ibrahim
Managing Director of Newsline Newspapers, Mal. Ndama Abubakar, has said that the organization can generate huge revenues for the Niger State government if it has the right production machines.
He said the state-owned media outfit would like to contribute to the development of the state by generating and contributing revenues to the coffers of government but sadly, it was unable to do so because it lacks the capacity and appropriate technology.
Mal. Ndama made the disclosure during budget screening at the Niger State House of Assembly, yesterday.
He said the printing machine the paper was using was obsolete and not even fit for newspaper production, explaining that there was no way the company can generate the desired revenues in its present condition.
“We want to generate revenue to contribute to the development of the state, but we can’t take advantage of the huge market because the machine we have was not meant to produce newspapers. What we have is Kord 64, and this machine was not designed to produce newspapers. The standard equipment used the world over is web-offset,” Mal. Ndama lamented.
He said the acquisition of the web-offset would be the game changer for the company, adding that the “what web-offset allows you to do is to produce 10,000 to 15,000 copies of newspaper within one hour and when you produce this number, you can distribute widely and take advantage of the market”.
The state newspaper boss said if Newsline had the required equipment to work, returning good revenues to the coffers of government would not be difficult because its visibility and availability in the neighbouring states of Kwara, Kogi, Abuja (FCT), Nassarawa, Kebbi, and Sokoto, would mean huge commercial possibilities saying, “if we produce mass copies, it means we can be in neighboring states, and we will get adverts, at least five in a day. Do the calculation on what we will generate daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, and you will see huge revenues”.
He solicited for the support of the state Assembly to reposition Newsline as a legacy media outfit for the state.
Earlier, the member representing Suleja constituency in the Assembly, Hon. Shu’aibu Liman Iya, who is also a member of the Assembly information committee, bemoaned the neglect the newspaper company was suffering, saying it will not be good for an important media organization like Newsline to suffer this fate, calling on the state government to do something.
He said when he was the chairman of the House committee on information in the 8th Assembly; he visited the newspaper organisation and was appalled at the condition the paper was operating in. He said it was unfortunate that up till now, the paper’s condition has not changed.
Commenting, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Musa Idris Vatsa, said the committee will study the budgets submitted by the information sector and do the needful.
He called for increased synergy between the committee and the ministry of information and urged the state-owned media outfits to improve on their coverage of government activities so that the citizens will appreciate what the present administration was doing.
In attendance at the budget screening was the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mal.Muhammad Sani Idris, Permanent Secretary, Bala Ibrahim, heads of agencies under the ministry of information, and other relevant stakeholders.