The change agenda is biting everybody as the country moves into recession. We are not technically in recession, we are in recession. So far, it seems all efforts to get the country out of the doldrums is not yielding fruits.
The recession is hitting both the rich and poor Nigerians alike. Even President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers are not left out. I remember during their screening, most of them were boasting that they would serve for free. Guess they are singing a different tune now.
Something happened during the week, an advert executive met one of the ministers for an advert. Usually, media owners give between 15-25 percent advert commission. However, this particular minister demanded for 40 percent commission which is way above what newspapers give and threatened the advert executive that if he doesn’t play ball, he will give the advert to “ our paper “ who will give him 40 percent, forgetting that the commission is supposed to go to the advert executive but the minister wanted 40 percent for himself.
Most of the ministers I see these days are always looking petrified.
Based on a report I heard, soon, most media offices in the country will close down. Why? You may ask, because of a policy that is being proposed by the federal government.
The proposed policy is that all federal ministries, agencies and MDAs will stop advertising on newspapers. According to the proposal, all adverts from ministries and MDAs should be posted on the website of the particular ministry. In their warped thinking, it’s a way of cutting costs. We all know that all over the world, media houses survive on adverts both from the government and private sector. But in a country like Nigeria where 90 percent of the revenue from media houses comes from the government, the proposal will be the undertaker of most media houses.
We know the government is trying to cut costs and it has told us several times to be patient as even our names have turned to patience. Small businesses that are struggling to survive are hit with multiple taxations; companies are closing down and people are losing their jobs; hunger related crimes are on the increase; people are finding it hard to pay school fees and house rents and we are told to be patient. We are waiting.