Professional Unions Shut Down THISDAY Over Unpaid Wages

Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher of THISDAY

By SaharaReporters, New York

Tomorrow, perhaps, but not today, the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Product Workers seemed to have said this morning, halting all work at the THISDAY newspaper headquarters inApapa, Lagos.

The action was the result of the failure of the newspaper’s management to bring the wages of the workers, which are in arrears of four months, up to date.  

On April 5, Publisher Nduka Obaigbena sent an open memo to the staff in which he blamed the delays on last year’s BokoHaram attack on the Abuja offices of the newspaper, and promised to clear the backlog within weeks.

“The process has already started in Abuja and should end within the next 30 days when ALL arrears of salaries and entitlements would have been settled and we [sic] resume payments when due,” he said in the letter, which was issued when the NUJ indicated preparations for a labour action.

The NUJ, which subsequently published an ultimatum to the management of media houses who were owing staff salaries, arrived at the premises of THISDAY early today to enforce its“no pay, no work” warning.

SaharaReporters was informed that all print work, including inserts of Friday’s insertions of the newspaper, was halted by the unions.

THISDAY’s boisterous publisher, who recently set up a television station in England, was not available for comment, and he not respond to a text message.  
This is not the first time Mr. Obaigbena has faced labour or legal confrontation over poor management practices.  In 2011, he was similarly confronted by the NUJ over nonpayment of nearly an entire year in salaries to his journalists.

In that year, he and his Arise (fashion) Magazine were also sued in South Africa by a business associate, Jan Malan, for breach of contract.  While the publisher of THISDAY likes to lead the highlife, once bragging that he maintains a penthouse in a five-star hotel in Washington DC, Malan alleged that he “keeps himself afloat in the international fashion world by abusingsmall players through broken promises and dishonored financial commitments.”

It would also be recalled that last February, SaharaReportersrevealed that in 2006, President (then Governor) Goodluck Jonathan paid approximately $1,000,000 (N150 million) out ofBayelsa State’s Poverty Alleviation Fund to Mr. Obaigbena to bring to Nigeria American entertainers Beyonce and Jay Z for the first THISDAY Music Festival.  Neither man has accounted for the funds.

“Obaigbena is obviously going through lean times,” an analyst said today, stressing that the newspaper has only Obaigbena and no management.  

“You know it is the season between elections; the closer it gets to the 2015 elections, the richer THISDAY will be as he puts it at the service of the highest bidder.  Otherwise, there is no reason why a newspaper that is advertised as one of Nigeria’s most successful would be unable to pay staff salaries.”

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Nduka is an Enigma

There's no reason whatsoever to call anyone a fool for seeking an honest living in any company / organisation.
Please note that most of these ppl shouting for their salaries and acting in this manner now are contributory factors to what is happening to ThisDay.
Those are the real 'Fools'. I pinpoint them because they have shortchanged the organisation to a point where the management is finding it very difficult to cope with the recurrent expenses the company has to bear.
However, we should give kudos where its due. Against all odds, ThisDay made it to the stands despite all the brouhaha that went down @ the Apapa offices.
How many a man can withstand such pressure just to keep his promises to his advertisers? Many a publisher would have folded his arms and given flimsy excuses as to why paid adverts were not run.
Not Nduka.


Don't worry, Nduka is still putting money together to bring another American singer to 9ja...

Like jimoh ibrahim like nduka

Nduka and the national thief called jimoh ibrahim are the same. Jimoh ibrahim sacked 790 staff on the pages of newspapers with four months arrears salary. Nduka is following jimoh ibrahim foot step. Natiional Thieves


No wonder, most of his reporters rely on fat envelopes from Politicians!

He's wicked

While the workers were protesting on empty stomach Thursday evening, the publisher came to the premises with the furry of a mad man and tried to crush some workers with his SUV. They were determined to block him and get crushed so he descended and tried to enter the compound but was blocked by the workers who were poised to see that no paper comes out on Friday. But he wickedly retreated to Apapa club from where he made phone calls and forced the line editors to spend the night to produce at the Mirror. He promised to pay the salaries but gave not definite time to do so.

Nigeria is not a functioning country

It is sad that nothing works in Nigeria. There's corruption and slaving everywhere. The public service is rotten. Even the much touted "private sector" is not quite functioning the way it should. Some may say it is the Nigerian business climate that forces entrepreneurs into becoming dubious. In this case, others may opine that the it is the print media business itself that makes it challenging for salaries, which comes from sales, to be paid, sometimes. With what the internet has done to print media in places where internet access is not an issue (U.S. for example), I can imagine how challenging it is for newspapers to survive in a clime where citizens are increasingly getting their News for free from online sources. Notwithstanding, employers should make every effort to be forthcoming with their employees. I wonder if Mr. Obaigbena has paid those who work for him outside Nigeria. It's a lose-lose situation for all involved....

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Nigeria is bad enough, even with salaries

Nduka Obaigbena is right that the Abuja office of THISDAY newspapers was bombed by Boko Haram.

It is also a fact that insurance does not typically cover such losses from terrorism. But it is wrong to continue a no-pay policy for all of those reasons. Nigeria is bad enough, even with salaries.

Nduka Obaigbena got it morally wrong. He should have offered to pay 50% for six months, beginning January and the remainder 150% thereafter, terminating in December 2013.

Nduka Obaigbena's management skills fell into question when he bunched up eight months salaries, senselessly, to virtually impose a lien on future income, without any opportunity to now seek forbearance for part-payment, he having pocketed all the company's income since this immoral no-pay policy started.

Only Fools Work For Obaigbena and ThisDay

How can a sane person, a trained journalist, bent on uncovering evil, work for a known 419er. ThisDay is a place for desperadoes. Very surprised he is owing ONLY four months pay.

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