Posted by News Express | 28 April 2013 | 4,432 times
About 30 per cent of journalists working with Nigeria’s leading tabloid chain The Sun will likely lose their jobs in an impending downsizing exercise, News Express can report this morning.
The bad news came last Tuesday, April 23, when Sun Publisher, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, paid a surprise visit to the paper’s headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, South-West Nigeria.
When Kalu, a businessman and immediate past governor of Abia State, South-East Nigeria, stepped into the premises around 2:00 p.m. Nigerian time (around 13 hours GMT) perceptive Sun workers knew there was a problem. Reason: He is not known to come around that time but usually visited late on Saturday night or before noon on Sunday when there are not many workers around.
During his Tuesday visit, Kalu exchanged pleasantries with those who saw him and briskly walked upstairs to hold a meeting with the paper’s top management staff. Shortly afterwards, Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Femi Adesina, came downstairs and called Mr. Philip Nwosu, Chairman of the local chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists. (NUJ). Nwosu was informed that the publisher believes The Sun to be over-staffed and had advised the management to check the staff strength of other newspaper in the country.
News Express learnt that about 30 per cent of Sun journalists may be affected in the downsizing exercise at the paper which just celebrated its tenth anniversary with fanfare.
Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Tony Onyima, neither confirmed nor denied the story, telling News Express on phone: “You are a journalist; why don’t you wait till it happens?” Prodded further, he accused the reporter of having made up his mind and then cut the line, saying: “Don’t call me again!”
As exclusively reported yesterday by News Express, four Sun chiefs – Editorial Board Chairman, Dr. Amanze Obi; Executive Director, Technical, Alan Jones; Executive Director, Marketing, Paul Onyia; and Principal Human Resource Manager, Patrick Enilama – are also on their way out on Orji Kalu’s orders.
•Photo shows SUN Publisher, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
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