THISDAY Publisher, Nduka Obaigbena, Blames Boko Haram For Unpaid Staff Salaries

Nduka Obaigbena Photo credit: NPR
By SaharaReporters, New York

Flamboyant publisher of THISDAY, Nduka Obaigbena, has appealed to his workers to be patient over his inability to pay salaries, blaming the delays on last year’s Boko Haram attack on the Abuja premises of the newspaper.

Mr. Obaigbena has not paid the workers since the beginning of this year.  But he promised to clear the backlog within a few 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 resume payments when due,” he said in a “Dear Colleague” letter to the unhappy staff.

His desperation to write the letter might not be unconnected with a plan by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to commence a protest in the premises of his paper next week over the unpaid salaries.  Many of his employees were complaining about unpaid and late salaries long before the Boko Haram attack.

Mr. Obaigbena recently commenced a global TV station - Arise TV- in London with big broadcast stars on his payroll.  The TV station has been severally linked to Nigeria's wealthy Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke as its major sponsor.  Several of the broadcasters reportedly demanded three years pay in advance to forestall that fate that befell Mr. Obaigbena’s THISDAY journalists.

Given Mr. Obaigbena’s tendency to break promises made to his staff, it was unclear today if the NUJ will go ahead with the protest plan.

See text of the letter:
From: Nduka Obaigbena
To: Staff of THISDAY
Dear Colleagues,
Following several enquiries, I write to notify you that we are working very hard to pay delayed salaries.
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 resume payments when due.
As you are well aware, as a company, we had long put the issue of delayed salaries behind us and staff were being paid on time when we had the misfortune of a terrorist attack on our Abuja offices in April last year during which our buildings, million-Dollar printing and computer-to-plate equipments(sic( were gutted. And we sadly lost two lives – one of whom was our security official. Our insurance did not cover the losses as we were not insured for War Risk – no one planned for a terror attack in Nigeria and so we were left to fend for ourselves. Despite that, we continued to meet our commitments as due. But when the cost of outsourcing printing to third parties caught up with us, things began to slow. After paying over N600 million in unplanned costs to outside printers, we began to feel the pain from October last year when many of you began to experience some delays in salary payments. We could have cut costs by reducing staff, but given the circumstances we chose keep all staff until things got better. For many it is so easy to forget we had a terror attack and are losing monies everyday because of it. What we have decided to do is to sell non-core assets to pay off all debt and buy new printing and production equipments (sic)( for Abuja. That process is on.
I just thought in view of the current negativity, I should communicate directly with you all, to assure you that all will be well.
I thank you for your understanding and continuing loyalty to the company.
We Shall Overcome.
With continuing regards,
Nduka.

Comments
22 comment(s)
Post a comment

DELTA MAN.

What is wrong with you? We are talking about people not being paid for more than three months. Now, what has that got to do with cars being given out to employees? Stop comparing apple and oranges. What type of human being are you and for that matter the way you think? If you have nothing good to say, please don't say anything. Why are we so wicked in that country? It is amazing the taught processes of Nigerians including their Goodluck Ebele and the University professors. What a shame. Nigeria is gone and all we are doing is waiting for the burial to commence.

If Obaigbena hasn't paid his

If Obaigbena hasn't paid his editors and staffers for three months, how then have they been surviving?

On their savings?

On their investments?

One, em, I mean, you know, good old brown envelopes, or other forms of egunje?

Think on these things.

Writing letters doesn't feed families

Usman, writing letters to his employees isn't going to put food on the table. I am not privy to hiw much he has in his bank account but I think he may have over stretched himself. I have a feeling that he committed a lot of his funds to start the new global tv that he no longer has enough to pay Thisday employees. He has little regard for thisday employees because he knows the Nigerian government won't do anything. Sad.

Wale Babalakin

Wale Balalakin is owning his workers five months salary and we are complaining about three months salary. It is no longer news in Nigeria,Is Nigeria usual way of business.

Iuwanyanwu Too is a THIEF

When I met Chief Iwuanyanwu a short while ago, he was owing his workers over 6 nonths of salary in arrears. This included his personal driver.

Nduka was aware this was going to come out sooner or later, therefore this memo to his 'colleagues'. I will forward this letter to Bill Clinton to see the kind of character he is dealing with.

Leave him Alone.

Anybody licking official secrets of any organisation to the public is nothing but a low life and is not fit to work anywhere. Did Chairman Nduka lie about boko haram attack? If you are tired of working for Thisday, please resign honorably.
When Nduka was giving brand new cars to these low lives, we did not see the pictures on saharareporters. Bunch of ingrates. As far as I know, Nduka is a great man and an achiever. Like he said, we shall over come.

He has used their salary to

He has used their salary to buy Private Jet. The yeye man offered me a free (well I for pay in kind) flight on his Private Jet from London to Lagos ie accompany him to Lagos. He stays at some of London's most expensive hotels, yet e no fit pay staff salary.
Na wah for 9ja men Oooo... Disgrace!!

Leave him Alone.

I dont see anything wrong with Nduka's letter to staff members to warrant all the useless comments from low lives and losers. Shame on the person that forwarded a personal letter to Saharareporters for the whole world to see. You have no sense of decency.
Nduka is a survival. Trust me, he will overcome all the Boko Harams of this world.

@Akpos, The blog prostitute.

Akpos1 aka Deri, whats your beef with MKO? Get a life dickhead! We are tired of your crazy rantings. Even your brothers and sisters from the SS&SE are totally against you. If you want to leave, go. Furstrated moron............. Your eyes are fixed on oil abi, you shall wallow in poverty, idiot

It is always so easy to

It is always so easy to pontificate,aportion blame and hold, always, the leader,the C.E.O.even the commander in chief responsible for all shortcomings.Citizens,followers and staff should honestly ask themselves if they have contributed their own very best and if indeed they have added value.It is given-uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,but even then, no leader can single handedly succeed.The entrepreneur creates the opportunities for the majority,creates the recipes to bake the cake for all to share.LET US ENCOURAGE AND PRAY FOR THE LEADERS RATHER THAN PULL THEM DOWN.The business climate globally is grim.It is even grimmer in NIGERIA.MR.Obaigbenas memo to his staff sounds sincere.His reluctance to lay off staff is applaudable.It only remains for us all to pray for him and other entrepreneurs and large employers of labour for courage,wisdom, grace and foresights to take the right business decisions to the benefit of all.

Go Beg Jonathan Or Governors

Make e go beg some governors or Jonathan money to helep pay salary.

Dem dey helep am before before for other things, make dem no forget.

Nduka is NOT flambouyant at all - he is FAT and shabby

Sahara poor choice of word to call Nduka Obaigbena flambouyant! That is far from the truth. The man is very ugly and FAT.

Nneka, Happily married to a handsome man!

Salary Arrears

Nduka Obaigbena will never keep his promise. You all know his antecedents. I don't believe him and if you do, you will be disappointed. Cunny man.

You have become another jimoh ibrahim

Foolish chairman, so you have join the likes of jimoh ibrahim in salary delays and sacking of staff. Animal, liar.

Nduka is not alone, there are many others

The Nigerian employers, including the PDP Governments, do not pay their workers regularly. They are generally many months, even years, in arrears. It is not that they do not have the money or enough cashflow in their businesses. They divert the cash for personal and other uses. They remit the tax and other deductions to the Government and leave the net Salary unpaid for many months or years.

They do not understand the economics of regular salary payment, such as a contented worker is a productive, loyal and law abiding worker.

What brought down Ibrahim Jimoh and others is this type of practice. Nduka Obaigbena has the money but he is using it for some other investments. The National Assembly should fast track the non-payment of salary bill to become law in few months so the Nduka Obaigbena and others like him that neglect their workers can go to jail, etc.

If Nigerian workers have got effective trade union, this type of employer neglect will not happen to them.

Between Obaigbena and Mobutu

This guy Obaigbena doesn't pay his editors and staffers for months on end, but somehow finds the money to fly in world-class personalities to hand out bogus awards every year to some dupes.

I understand the fellow operates on the Mobutu Principle.

Soldiers in Zaire had mutinied over non-payment of their salaries. Mobutu summoned their spokes-persons.

"What are you holding in your hands," he asked.

"Guns," they replied.

"And you are complaining that you have not received your salaries? What salary can be greater than the guns in your hands?"

Obaigbena has much the same response for his staffers.

"I have given you a column or a beat to fill or cover as you please. What salary can be greater than that?" he scolds them. Go away, my friend, and do what others are doing to survive."

Obaigbena is a racketeer, and newspapering is to him just another racket.

TRUE TO TYPE

Was it Boko Haram that caused you to delay salaries of workers in Thisday South Africa ? The South African Government drove you away from their land because of their extant laws that forbid owing of workers salary.They made you close shop pronto. This guy is just part of the failed so-called elite in Nigeria, a hedonistic and parasitic breed who have fed fat on Government patronage stashing away all their loot abroad moving from one failed project to another because of their ostentatious lifestyle. Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest men has over 300 companies and still lives in the same house all these years and drives himself to work.

Mr Obaigbena, find another reason please. What thrill do you get from always witholding workers' salaries. You are just morally bankrupt. I am so pissed.

Was it Boko Haram that caused

Was it Boko Haram that caused you to delay salaries of workers in Thisday South Africa ? The South African Government drove you away from their land because of their extant laws that forbid owing of workers salary.They made you close shop pronto. This guy is just part of the failed so-called elite in Nigeria, a hedonistic and parasitic breed who have fed fat on Government patronage stashing away all their loot abroad moving from one failed project to another because of their ostentatious lifestyle. Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest men has over 300 companies and still lives in the same house all these years and drives himself to work.

Mr Obaigbena, find another reason please. What thrill do you get from always witholding workers' salaries. You are just morally bankrupt. I am so pissed.

Nonesense!!! Where is Bank-Ole?..all eyes on SS&SE pples

Hear SR- "..Given Mr. Obaigbena’s tendency to break promises made to his staff, it was unclear today if d NUJ will go ahead wit d protest plan."..So, SR did not hear of how Babalakin owed his staff for centuries? It was never published. We only heard about his activities frm SR when EFCC started 2 look for d oil thief. What about bro Adenuga? The man who shared my Gulf oil wit thief IBB. He owed Glo staff for months before sacking them. We did not hear from SR at d time. What about d deals of Jimoh Ibrahm leading 2 a ruination of Virgin Nigeria. What about d greatest thief of them all- MKO, who stole frm ITT & Fela sang about it. But they wil always refer 2MKO as "Business Mogul".Really? How did he make his money?These are d pioneer oil thieves in d continent wit dexterity in public service fraud. But SR wil not investigate. Their sisters-PremiumTimes,PM news will nt 2. Nonsense! All eyes on d SS&SE peoples.Time 4 SS&SE Spring is now.
God bless d United Republic of the SS&SE

We can not BLAME him 4 BLAMING Boko Haram

If his reason is legitimate or a hoax, I will still give him a benefit of a doubt knowing fully well one of his establishment was hit many many months agao. . .

but dont hide too long behind the cloud (reason) o.

Lets hope sect members accept the amnesty being canvassed by the president.

Unfortunate

Facts has it that Obaigbena has never kept to his promise before now; perhaps, he will this time. The truth is that Obaigbena does not pay salary; always harass his staff and female staff suffer more with all kinds of insult on their personality. It's unfortunate. ObaigbenaThisDay God is watching you!

World Class Action

I read the letter to the staff and i believe it was sincere and well written. This is what any sensible and caring organisation should do - communicate sincerely with the staff.

I also think he clearly articulated the issues at stake. Better keep the staff than lay them off.

I only hope he is telling it all...They will overcome!!

Post a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Comments are limited to a maximum of 1000 characters.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <p> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.