All Eyes Are On Tinubu As Layoffs Loom At Nation Newspaper
There is palpable fear of job losses at one of country’s leading newspapers, The Nation, owned by former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Members of staff of the newspaper, according to impeccable insider sources are facing uncertain future in view of the development, as they have read the mindsets of the individuals ooerating at the highest level in the media outfit that “cutting costs, by reducing the number of employees is inevitable.”
Family member of a staff of the newspaper in Abuja told CompassNG that they are already feeling the heat.
She said, “My brother could not provide what he promised to buy for me a few days ago, because all the staff took salary cuts of 50 per cent.
“Some even went home with as low as N10,000 and N15,000 as salary; that is for those already on loan. I thought he was deceiving me, until I later confirmed that it was true.”
Another source also confided in this newspaper that the management of the newspaper has already taken the decision to cut down the staff strength, but is only being diplomatic in respect of how to get it done.
Our source revealed that the strategy to be put in place is to ask those to be affected to proceed on compulsory leave of absence, with a promise of returning to work after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of tge workers have, however, read in-between the lines to understand the leave of absence to mean automatic sack.
Furthermore, the affected staff would also be told that they are not entitled to salary during the stay at home period.
However, realising the hues and cries this may generate, it was learnt that the affected staff would be given just 20 per cent of their salary; thus, some may be earning between N5,000 and N8,000 during the compulsory leave of absence.
Already, member of staff in the junior cadre, according to insider sources, are already grumbling and that this may graduate to a roar, should the management of tge media house go ahead with the plan.
The junior staff are of the opinion that it would not only be wrong, but grave injustice, to ask majority of them, who earn “insignificant” salary to embark on compulsory leave, while top management staff, one of whose salary could cater for payment of the salary of 15 junior staff.
One of them said, “There is no problem; we know there is a pandemic that the whole world is battling with, and which has gotten the world economy to a standstill; but the ‘ogas at the top’ should also realize that the salary of one among them can take care of 15 junior staff.
“When there was fraud months ago, when about N650 million could not be accounted for, things did not fall apart; why should there be a decision now to the detriment of those in the junior staff category? They should fear God.”
Meanwhile, all eyes are currently on the publisher, Asiwaju Tinubu, who had on two occasions in the past ordered a halt to ‘retrenchment plan,’ while the staff have resolved to accept whatever comes their way.
Management of the newspapaer has tried to justify its action; saying that Asiwaju Tinubu had given them the go ahead to run the newspaper like a business empire but, the question on the lips of everyone is: can the management be trusted to achieve the business plan?
Investigations revealed that the media organisation cannot boast of any savings, even when the going was good; and there feelers that under this same management, the company continues to navigate from one case of fraud to another.
It was also discovered that the newspapaer house does not pay its workers any yearly bonus; neither has it promoted any member of staff in the last 10 years; except those who had godfathers or are highly connected.
It was also alleged by insider sources that each time the company makes good money, some fraudulent cronies of the management would surface to defraud the company.