Information gathered in the course of investigations conducted by www.calitown.com has revealed that there is high level conspiracy within government circles which has prevented the Cross River State Government from equipping and earning money from the printing press in the premises of the moribound Cross River Newspaper Corporation, publishers of The Chronicle newspaper.
In February of 2014, www.calitown.com sources say, a contract worth N84 million was awarded to a company, EUROGRAPHICS W/A LTD, to purchase and install printing equipment at the press after it was discovered that the state was spending too much on printing. EUROGRAPHICS W/A LTD is said to have received the first instalment of N42.5million with which she paid for the equipment and containerised same, in three containers. She accordingly brought in the first container, hoping to be paid the balance of the money with which to convey the remaining equipment in two containers to Calabar, CRS, that has not happened as the cabal has unceasingly worked in ‘convincing’ government and especially the Accountant-General of the state that they are no funds to finance the completion of this money spinning investment. The other two containers with printing equipment are lying in the port in Lagos with demurrage piling.
Other sources spoken to within the Labour movement in the state, informed that, “while government suddenly has no interest in completing this transaction, it is not surprising when you consider that in the first instance, government did not want to go ahead with making the printing press work. We had indicated that we will go on strike if nothing is done when those around the Governor quickly slotted the complete overhaul of the press in his 2014 May Day speech. The governor said he has paid for the equipment with a subtle directive to the A_G to look for money and pay”.
The source went on to say that, “because this cabal is making so much money, it even blocked UBA plc, when the bank wanted to invest money in the press after inspecting the press and discovering the fortune that can be generated from the press. We are talking about a cabal that spends more than N400 million of government money printing through surrogate companies in Onitsha, Lagos etc”.
Specifically fingered as spending colossal sums of government funds on printing of documents were the offices of the CRS Economic Adviser, A-G, Commissioner for Education, IRS and the Primary Education Board. Printing professionals within government circles insist that “this is an investment that the state can recover her investment in six months because even printing jobs from outside the state will come here. Go around and ask those with printing experience what can be made from printing especially when the calibre of equipment the state invested in, starts grinding. Painfully, even the state newspaper, The Chronicle is printed at Tressvi Press by Mayne Avenue and you for sure know that underhand deals are going on”.
While it has been in the news that the CRSG plans to concession the CRS Newspaper Corporation, a story government has unconvincingly denied, it doesn’t appear that the other two containers will arrive Calabar before May 29, 2015, when Imoke vacates office.
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