Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 22 October 2015 | 2,443 times
After about seven years of being in limbo, the moribund Abia State Government Press has resumed operations, courtesy of revival efforts by the Ministry of Information and Strategy.
Already, the Government Press has printed new office files, redesigned and printed new Annual Performance Evaluation Review (APER) forms, commenced production of gazettes as well as printing a newly designed Gen 35 document, the Supervising Director, Mr Ogbuagu A. Ogbuagu, told News Express in an exclusive interview in his office in Umuahia.
He said the Department would soon begin the production of salary vouchers, revenue receipts, annual reports, brochures, calendars and all other government printing works, boasting that the outfit has experienced staff and equipment that could design and deliver on the best of printing works.
Until August this year when Ogbuagu was redeployed to the place, the Government Press laid waste as it offices were without electricity while the staff, severely split by supremacy battle, hardly showed up for work. Those who came to work at all, did so just to sign up the attendance register and quickly disappear afterwards. Printing work was a tall dream as the members of staff were said to have resorted to private practice.
When the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Elder Ifeanyi Agbai, mounted the saddle and undertook a familiarisation tour of the Government Press, he was not amused by the poor state of things in that Department and he redeployed Mr Ogbuagu to rescue and resuscitate the place.
Ogbuagu told News Express that Abia Government Press was being rapidly returned to its glorious past under his watch.
“When I came here, it was not surprising to me that the management of the Ministry of Information, under the Permanent Secretary, Elder Ifeanyi Agbai, took a decision to revive the Government Press because when the Permanent Secretary came here on a farmiliariasation tour of agencies and parastatals under him, he met this place in a bad shape. Nothing was going on. The staff were not coming to work, the offices were unkempt and dirty, no work was going on, it was very disgusting,” Ogbuagu narrated.
To make matters worse, power supply to the Government Press offices was disconnected in 2009 and it gradually lost all its jobs in the process, while its expensive machines laid waste.
Giving an insight into his efforts to revive the place which is already bubbling with activities, Ogbuagu said: "I came here and started to reorganise the place. First of all, I made it clear that all staff must come to work. Second, that all those jobs they were doing outside should stop, that nobody will take our jobs outside again, and third, some of the equipment that I felt were so bad, we started putting them in order. So, a week after I came, we did one gazette.”
He said since it was impossible to operate profitably depending on diesel, he did his best to reconnect the office to the public power supply, six years after it was disconnected, adding that the Head of Service, Dr Vivian Umah, has approved more office space to properly accommodate equipment and staff.
Ogbuagu said he was repairing all dilapidated equipment, stressing that Government Press was determined to realise its mandate of printing all government documents.
He said this would save government revenue and preserve government secret.
The Supervising Director said the ministry has commenced consultations with private printers with a view to commencing its statutory role of carrying out proper regulation of the printing business in the state and stop the practice of private printers handling government jobs they were not legally authorised to do.
•Photo shows Abia Press Supervising Director, Ogbuagu A. Ogbuagu.
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