Ondo State Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele has pledged to step up a robust relationship between MDAs in the state and Owena Press Limited, publisher of The Hope newspaper .
Ogundele stated this in his office yesterday during a visit by the Management staff of the newspaper led by its Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Sir Ademola Adetula, MFR, to his office.
The Head of Service noted that The Hope newspaper should be the first choice for any publicity by MDAs involved in government business in the state and promised to facilitate a process whereby ministries and other public institutions in the state would subscribe to the newspaper.
He said when he resumed newly as Head of Service, one of the issues he first met on his table was on the outstanding unpaid gratuities of the company’s retired staff which he took up with the Governor.
He appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for acceding to the payment of the gratuities, which he said were paid in three tranches.
He explained that the second one would be paid soon as he has directed the State Accountant General to effect the payment.
He commended the chairman, Sir Ademola Adetula for his efforts in making the newspaper a delight in contents and outlook for the people and the state.
He acknowledged the effective circulation of the paper, promising to assist the company on the issue of debts some Ministries were owing the company.
Earlier, Sir Adetula had commended the HoS for his unblemished track record and humility since he became a Permanent Secretary and HoS.
Adetula particularly mentioned his efforts in uplifting the welfare of civil servants in terms of promotion and other packages for the state workers.
He informed the HoS that present economic crunch is making life tough for the newspaper, saying all materials used for production are imported and their costs skyrocketed.
He informed that the circulation vans of the company have virtually been grounded.
The chairman said the company however purchased some motorcycles for despatch riders to deliver copies of the newspaper to the door steps of those who subscribed to the newspaper, but could only circulate in Akure.
He regretted that many governmental agencies and ministries in the state do not patronize the newspaper.
He requested that the HoS should use his good offices to assist in changing the status of the newspaper from a company to a corporation, saying this would relieve it of unnecessary tax payments to FIR and other tax agencies.
A copy of the proposal was later submitted to his office.