Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson.
Governor of Bayelsa State
He made the remark while exchanging views with the publisher of Golden Pen Newspaper, Chief Otonye Evans Tubonah who paid him a visit in his office, in the state capital, Yenagoa.
He graphically explained his mandate and the journey so far, in these words:-
"The charge I had from the governor was to come to this place, and to turn it around. That means so many things.
"Looking at the weighty staff strength, looking at the possibility of reviving the newspaper and making it economically viable, making it a veritable source of information dissemination and being a very dependable mouthpiece for government. These are the core areas, and when I came, I met a Newspaper Corporation that was virtually closed down, because there was no work."
The General Manager said, at that point some of the workers were waiting to be redeployed, while some no longer knew their fate; whether they were still in the employ of the government or not until he came. Besides, he also, met another drastic situation at the waves, that of not having the desired machines to start. Hear him:-
"When I came, I met an empty Newspaper Corporation. There were no machines because all the machines had been sold, and just one machine, the Cord machine, which in today's printing environment is getting outdated. That is the machine that I met. Well, the first thing I did was to resuscitate that machine..."
Mr. Egbegi said, he knows that the Hedel Berg printing machines manufactured 'by that German Company' does not go obsolete easily, because as he puts it, the life time of that machine goes beyond 50 years. And what worried him most was the fact that many of the state of the arts printing machines at the Waves were sold before he came, and he did not hide his patriotic feelings on that matter when he said:-
"And these other machines were sold, that was the biggest tragedy, one of the biggest crimes whoever that was involved in the selling of those machines committed crime not only against the government of Bayelsa, but against the people of Bayelsa State..."Counting it as a big loss to the people of the state, Egbegi remarked that if those machines were not sold but properly repaired or resuscitated they would have been a source of income to the government and people of the state.
"The government spends millions of naira today, printing Calendars, diaries, almanac, exercise books and other things outside the state. Some of these that they sold would have been printing all those things in their millions and for the government and people of the state. These machines would as well been attracting customers from outside the state, because they are not many in this country.." the GM emphasized.
He further observed that if those machines were there, people from Delta, Rivers, Abia, Akwa/Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Imo and all other neighboring states would have been coming to Bayelsa to print most of their classified documents.
On how the Government is taking the illegal sales of the said machines, Egbegi succinctly spoke thus:-
"...Some felt that government property is nobody's property; so they sold all those machines, now, am sure that government is still handling that... you know that Dickson is a no nonsense man when it comes to that, panels have been set up and government is looking into how the machines were sold and all those who were involve. Am very very sure that government will come out with a position and address that issue and address it effectively well."
|Mr. Alfred Egbegi|
General Manager, Bayelsa State Newspaper Corporation
"I felt that there was need for me to increase the pagenation that was 24 page to 48 colour page newspaper. And that is what we have been doing for over 1 year, now, since I assumed office.
Commenting further on patronage by government and people of the state, he said:-
"the major problem we have is that we don't have patronage from our people, Bayelsa people. You tell them that this place is open for commercial businesses, they prefer to give their jobs to outsiders. Some prefer to go to Aba to print, even within the government circle, you call them come let us print your job for you, they are not ready. They rather want to take their job outside..the second thing is the paper we publish. The Bayelsa man prefers to publish his adverts in national papers that they believe, that cost them hundreds of thousands of naira and for them if they come to New Waves to publish, the desired attention that they have is not there, and they also don't like to patronize their own state newspaer. These are some of the problems we have , but in all, the state newspaper is up and running." the G.M declared.