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HomeNewsObaigbena sacks over 50% of THISDAY staff

Obaigbena sacks over 50% of THISDAY staff

In what a lot of staff have termed a ploy not to pay the outstanding salary of not less than 11 months, the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief THISDAY Media Group/ARISE TV Networks, Nduka Obaigbena, has sacked more than half of the THISDAY workforce.

Obaigbena, in a memo dated February 23, 2016 to the senior management staff of the newspaper, said all staff whose names were not listed therein should have their salaries stopped and no longer considered as working in the company.
The memo was addressed to Eniola Bello, Kayode Komolafe, Emmanuel Efeni, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Tokunbo Adedoja and Shaka Momodu.

Some of those to whom the memo was addressed were also not listed as bonafide staff.
Obaigbena’s action was said to have followed the attendance he took when he did what he termed spot check at the Lagos office of the newspaper.
He was said to have arrived at the office at about 2pm and left at 7pm.

He wrote in the memo to the management staff, with the Subject: VERY IMPORTANT STAFF NOTICE: “Dear All: Following a continuous and continuing spot check which climaxed today on LAGOS staff on duty and working, please find below a list of bonafide NON – EDITORIAL LAGOS STAFF of THISDAY NEWSPAPERS. The spot check will continue in ALL THISDAY locations.

“Those not on the list below cease to be staff of the company except they show with documentary evidence why they were not, and have not been at work. Editorial Staff have to show work with proof of stories filed and published tonight. Therefore only those listed below will be on the next payroll. If not listed, please conclude your disengagement process with the Admin department.​
“A. Account Department:

1. Akiemughu Ezekiel
2. Olurebi Abiola Yusuf
3. Kasali Ganiyu
4. Arole Olawale
5.Alex Egberughe
6. Sambo Mohammed
7. Ngboken Odonzi
8. Sunday Adofu
9. Charles Afambu
10. Dibiagwu Uchenna
11. Amao K. Abisola
12. Raufiu Shina
13. Ariori Kamilu
14. Peter Iwegbu
15. Olufemi Aborowa.
“B. Computer Department:
1. Oku Ejiro
2. Balogun Olaitan
“C. Editorial (Photo Desk)
1. Yomi Akinyele
2. Kolawole Alli
3. Mubo Peters
4. Sunday Adigun
“D. Admin Department:
1. Adedapo Olojo
2. Megbolu Innocent
3. Emmanuel Efeni
“E. Advert Department:
1. Umoren Paulinus
2. Ogochukwu Eseka
3. Odeh Williams
4. Okwuise Ngozi
5. Ogedengbe Anthony
“F. Engineering Department:
1. Abdulmumuni Momoh
2. Peter Amoh
3. Emmanuel Hope
4. Adah Francis
5. Balogun Idris
6. Adewoyin Folakemi.
“G. ICT/SERVER/DIGITAL
1. Ogunleye George
2. T.J Dennis Madu
3. Judith Ehireme
4. Michael Okeke
5. Ojogun Danboyi
6. Mbayilan Aindo – Akaa

“H. Pre-press Department:
1. Funke Amobi
2. Scoot Orwell
“I. Printers:
1. Adedayo Adebiyi
2. Aina Adekunle
3. Badmus Semiu
4. Chuks Okonkwo
5. Akintunde Isaac
6. Sunday Etuonu
“J. Editorial Department:
1. Davidson Iriekpen
2. Martins Ifijeh
3. Funke Olaode
4. Crusoe Osagie
5. Roland Ogbonnnaya
6. Abiodun Ajala
7. Sunday Okonbi
“K. Office of Chairman:
1. Ayo Arowolo
“L. Legal Department:
1. Okwuchi Nwaamaka Chukwuma
“M. Executive Floor:
1. Alailedoye Bunmi
“N. Security Department:
1. Omotosho Abiola
2. Lovey Asuquo Essang
3. Nwachukwu Eugene
4. Samuel Alaku
5. Ebhoma Lucky
6. Abu Stephen
“O. Procurement Department:
1. Joseph Ebere
“P. Transport Department:
1. Benjamin Faloye
2. Hassan Afeez
3. Adebayo Kayode
4. Abdullah Alaran
5. Oluwashola Ayeni
6. Akintayo Ademigoke
7. Oladele Sunday
8. Lanre Akande
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“Q. Press Attendant/Inserter
1. Erinle David
2. Olaojo Tunde
3. Abazu Ugochukwu
4. Dada Ezekiel
5. Chigozie Abalum
6. Lawal Kehinde
7. Mbah Kalu
8. Kolawole Ebietomiye
9. Kunle Seun
9. Wahab Tope.
“R. MANAGEMENT.
1. Eniola Bello
2. Kayode Komolafe
3. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu.”

Obaigbena further directed some staff of the Accounts Department to “prepare a new payroll another month based on the list below.

“We will try and pay up current month plus one month arrears every month at least.”
It was learnt that apart from the fact that some of the staff were not on duty on the day Obaigbena visited, two major reasons accounted for the failure of staff to show up regularly in the Lagos office.

One was the issue of outstanding salaries.
Obaigbena is said to be owing between 11 months and 13 months salary.
A senior staff said that they had even lost count of the exact number of months being owed.
The second was that due to an ongoing renovation work in the office complex, there are no chairs for staff to use.

This is particularly so on the first and second floors of the complex.
It was learnt that the morale of the staff is “so low that they just manage to do their jobs and leave.

“And for those who can do their work without coming to the office, especially reporters, they do so and go back home.
“This is more so for the Editorial staff.”
It was learnt that the low morale even extends to the management staff.

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It was further gathered that the management staff in the office on the day Obaigbena visited were indeed summoned by him.
One of them was said to have even left before his arrival as he did not come in until about 2pm.

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A source added: “The morale sunk lower after it became public knowledge that the Chairman made so much money during the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan and refused to pay us our salaries.

“Yet, the huge sums we make here he packs away to fund Arise TV.

“This is not good enough and he still expects to find everyone in the office even when we can barely feed ourselves and families.”

It was gathered that some staff have started writing Obaigbena to explain their whereabouts on the day he was in the office.

One of them wrote: “Chairman, Good afternoon sir. I wish to inform you that I was on the field working yesterday at the time that names were being written in the office.

“I was at the Lagos state government secretariat for a follow up meeting of the one that held last week of one of the subcommittees on Lagos State at 50 anniversary to discuss advert placements in Thisday.

“Mr Anthony Ogedengbe the divisional director,Adverts can attest to this sir.
“Looking forward to a favourable consideration.”

Another wrote: “Good afternoon sir my chairman my name is Sunday Oamen one of your staff from Advert Department. I hereby state as follows after the management meeting on Monday this week. Hassan Saheed and l met with Mr Tony ogedengbe, where he divided us to subgroup to follow up advert publication that is not in thisday and in other papers as the head of the group Rapid Response Team (RRT) hr just form as away of increasing Revenue sales, that every Tuesdays and Thursday’s 12noon and 5.30pm we should go out that is Saheed Hassan and I at list visited three places and get back to him on their response base on this we left office at 12pm to visit the following places….”

It was equally gathered that the head of units in the Editorial Department have been directed by their Editors to compile the list of stories sent by reporters under them on the day in question.

Those listed as bonafide staff are said to be less than 50 per cent of the staff of the newspaper outfit, with most describing the move by Obaigbena as surprising.

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