By Victor Ahiuma-Young
MANAGEMENT of Folio Communications Ltd, has paid a total ofÂ N24,548,600.00 as part of the outstanding salary arrears and benefits to former and current staff of Daily Times ahead of planned return of the nationâ€™s foremost Newspaper to news stand.
The Management made the payment in two batches, withÂ N12, 748,760 million first batch on Monday last week and second batch ofÂ N11,800Million paid two days later.
The payments witnessed by representatives of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ) Lagos Council, wereÂ done at the Agidingbi premises of the company.
Speaking at Monday handover of Cheques to NUJ representatives, Chairman of Folio Communications,Â Mr. Fidelis Anosike, said the payment of the salary arrears was in appreciation of everyone who had selflessly committed their services to building and keeping the Daily Times brand alive even when the future seemed bleak.
According to Anosike, â€œthis is an expression of our own gratitude to those heroic souls who have built the brand we were here to acquire and salvage. There would not have been a Daily Times brand without these great men and women and that is why we have defied all the odds to initiate the process of settling all the outstanding arrears to the workers.â€
In his response the Vice Chairman of the NUJ, Mr Deji Elumoye, who was accompanied by two other offiails of the union, applauded the management of the company for the renewed initiative and said he hoped they would not rest on their oars but go ahead to completely fulfil their promises to the union in the implementation of the vision they had laid out for the company
Similarly, speaking during the payment of the second batch, Mr. Anosike said, â€œ what we are again doing today confirms our assurances to the Nigerian Union of Journalists that we are more than committed to see Daily
Times return to the newsstand before the middle of the year. The first step in that direction is to repair the fabrics of broken relationships with critical stakeholders as the Journalists and workers who built the Daily Times brand. That was the first commitment we made and that is what we have been doing since Monday 18, January 2010. This is because, we know for a fact, without this people, there could not have been a Daily Timesâ€
He assured that, as part of the repositioning processes put in place by the company, a recruitment drive will commence in the month of February and this would be followed by intensive training because of the peculiar brand of journalism Daily Times intended to return with.
He thanked the leadership of the NUJ for their support and renewed confidence in the processes now put in place to bring Daily Times back to the news stand.
Mr Anosike also reiterated his earlier assurances to the union of the commitment by the new management to carry the union along all the way.