This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Change of Guards At the Sun

Lagos — The wind of change blew yesterday at The Sun Publishing Limited , Lagos , publishers of The Sun Newspaper, as the Board approved new appointments and promotions, which it said, were designed to enhance the operations of the company and further consolidate the position of the newspaper.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY, former Executive Director, Operations, Mr. Tony Onyima, becomes the new Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, succeeding pioneer Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mike Awoyinfa, whose deputy, Dimgba Igwe, is succeeded by former Executive Director, Publications, Mr Femi Adesina.

Also joining the board as Executive Directors, according to the statement, are Mrs Ethel Nmezi, who is to oversee the Finance/Administration department while the Managing Editor, North, Mr. Eric Osagie, becomes the Executive Director, Special Services.

The statement noted that the chairman of the board and publisher of The Sun titles, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, commended the immediate past MD and DMD, saying they grew the newspapers from infancy, "till they became the highest selling publications in the land, and took the company into profitability within a few years of entering the market."

Kalu described Awoyinfa and Igwe who midwived the newspaper in January 2003 as "consummate professionals who can be compared with the very best in any part of the world," saying " We salute their astuteness, professional savvy, and commitment to duty."

According to the former Abia state governor, "We have been very privileged to have them leading the company these past eight years. Now it is time for them to proceed on a sabbatical."

Responding , Awoyinfa, who still serves as Director on the board of the company along with his former deputy, equally declared: "Every company needs fresh energy, fresh impetus at any given time. We have steered the ship of The Sun these past eight years, through calm waters, through the storm, and God has seen us through. Now, it is time for new kids on the block, people with fresh verve and energy to move the newspapers forward."

Onyima, the new Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, holds degrees in Mass Communication, Public Administration, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing. He equally had executive education in Logistics and Supply Chain Management for CEOs and Executive Directors, organized by LagosBusiness School.

Onyima joined The Sun as Executive Director, Operations, in 2002, at the company's inception. Before then, he had variously served as Reporter, Staff Writer and Senior Correspondent at The Guardian, rising to the position of Editor, Lagos Life, in 1990. Subsequently, he served as Deputy Editor, Thisday, Editor, Thisday on Saturday, and was the pioneer editor of National Interest in 2000. He became Executive Editor of the paper in 2002, before joining The Sun later the same year.

Femi Adesina, DMD/Deputy Editor-in-Chief was pioneer editor of Daily Sun, which he edited for five years and took to the pinnacle as the nation's largest selling newspaper. During his tenure, the publication equally won Newspaper of the Year laurels from both Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) and Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME). In 2006, Adesina was named Editor of the Year by the NMMA.

On July 1, 2008, he moved up as Executive Director, Publications, an office he held till yesterday. He takes to his new position 24 years of active journalism, after obtaining a degree in English Studies from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). The career, covering both electronic and print media saw him passing through LTV 8, Radio Lagos, Vanguard Newspaper, and Concord Press, where he rose to be editor of National Concord.

Adesina joined The Sun at inception in 2002, and began editing the daily title in 2003.

Mrs Ethel Nmezi qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1991, after graduating in Accounting from Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. She is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and a Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Nmezi started work with Glaxosmithkline Ltd where she began her professional career in audit and accounting. She later moved to core auditing as a partner with E.C Nwafor & Co (Chartered Accountants). She later became a senior consultant with Capital Wealth Consulting Ltd. She joined Slok Nigeria Ltd in 2003, from where she was posted to The Sun Publishing Ltd as Chief Accountant.

In 2008, Nmezi was promoted Finance Controller, and yesterday, she assumed the new position of Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

Eric Osagie, erstwhile Managing Editor, North, is now Executive Director, Special Services. A columnist, prose stylist and public affairs analyst, his journalism career spanning 20 years, has seen him work at Concord Press, Thisday and National Interest, where he edited the Saturday title.

A graduate of the University of Benin, Osagie was pioneer editor of the Abuja Bureau of The Sun and in November 2008, he was appointed Special Adviser on Public Affairs by Gov Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. He resigned 10 months later, citing personal and professional reasons.

Osagie will function in his new office as Executive Director, Special Services, from Abuja, the federal capital.

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