Daily Champion (Lagos)

27 August 2008

Nigeria: Jimoh Ibrahim Buys National Mirror

Lagos — Foremost entrepreneur and business mogul, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, has acquired the National Mirror, a daily publication.

Ibrahim, who acquired 100 per cent shares of the paper praised the courage of Nigerian Journalists and commended them for their contributions to national development.

Ibrahim said before now, he had never considered adding a newspaper outfit to his conglomerate in the last five years of his doing business in Nigeria. He said his decision to acquire the paper is borne out of his respect for Nigerian Journalists whose efforts he tremendously commends.

His joining the club today is a means of further strengthening the firm commitment and principles of our brothers in the journalism profession. Not doing so will amount to lack of concern for the overall problems of nation-building.

The Harvard trained lawyer commended the efforts of colleagues who had worked this far on this enterprise and promised to compliment them, this is even as he urged the workers of National Mirror nationwide to be calm as the reorganization of the newspaper will create more jobs.

According to him, the turnaround of the newspaper is expected to take one year during which corporate surgery is unavoidable but the strategy is to use the instruments within the theater to perform the operation.

He was full of praises for Emeka Obasi, the outgoing publisher of National Mirror. According to him, Obasi remains a resolute fighter against injustice and is an esteemed manager of resources and a capacity builder. While wishing the retired directors the very best in their future endeavours, he reminded them of the need to maintain the integrity of news reporting that Mirror is know for. He said where any of the directors is recalled to serve; they should consider it as a sacrifice.

Daily Champion gathered that already, he has ordered two giant machines in addition to the existing one is expected to print Mirror at the Marina, Lagos and Abuja offices simultaneously when the turnaround commences.

The machines ordered are expected to gulp a whopping sum of $35,000,000 (Thirty-Five Million USD). Although, the amount that exchanged hands in the purchase of 100 per cent shares of the outgoing directors, was not stated, Emeka Obasi in his own remarks said life is about moving on. He said it was not unlikely that he will resurface again in the print media in the future.

In the meantime, he promised to use his retirement for entrepreneurial adventure which may involve some international investments. He commended Jimoh Ibrahim for his foresightedness in the acquisition of Mirror and wished him success in his future endeavour.

Analysts are of the view that the coming of Ibrahim into the media industry should be carefully studied as the young entrepreneur is not unmindful of his investment of several billions of naira in the business.

This singular act will not only boost the journalism profession, but it may also reposition the profession for better awareness.

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