NEWSPAPER CORPORATION LAW
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
NEWSPAPER CORPORATION LAW
A Law to establish a Corporation for printing and publishing a newspaper or newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets or other organs of information, for carrying out printing for and on the requisition of the Government or other official bodies for engaging in general commercial printing and for purposes connected therewith.
(10th September, 1976)
(1) There is hereby established the Newspaper Corporation which shall have a policymaking Board consisting of—
(a) a Chairman;
(b) the Director of Information or such other person (not below the rank of Senior Assistant Secretary) as the Director of information may designate to represent him;
(c) the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance or such other person (not below the rank of Senior Assistant Secretary) as the Permanent Secretary may designate to represent him;
(d) the Solicitor-General or such other person (not below the rank of Senior State Counsel) as the Solicitor-General may designate to represent him;
(e) not more than six other persons, not being persons in the public service of the State.
(2) The General Manager of the Corporation and the Government Printer shall be ex officio members of the board, and whenever matters of newspaper policy come under consideration the Editor-in-Chief shall also attend; but none of the said officers, that is to say, the General Manager, the Government Printer, or the Editor-in-Chief shall have voting right or count in the determination of the quorum.
(3) Appointment (which shall be part-time) of a member under paragraph (a) or (e) of subsection (1) (hereinafter referred to as a “non-official member”) shall be made by the Commissioner only after first satisfying the Executive Council in respect thereof that the person concerned—
(a) is a person of integrity and of good standing in the community from which he is drawn;
(b) has the necessary ability, experience and specialised knowledge requisite for the satisfactory performance of the functions of his office;
(c) does not have and is not likely to have such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially the performance by him of his function as a member; and
(d) does not engage, and has not during the five years immediately preceding the appointment, engaged himself in partisan political activities.
(4) A person appointed a non-official member of the Board shall, during his tenure of office, satisfy the requirements in paragraphs (a) to (d) of the last preceding subsection, and the Commissioner shall, whenever the Executive Council during the tenure so requests, satisfy the Executive Council that, in respect of any non-official member, the aforementioned requirements are being observed.
(5) Before or at any time and from time to time after appointing a person to be a nonofficial member and during the tenure of office of such a member the Commissioner shall have power to request him to furnish the Commissioner with such information as the Commissioner considers necessary for the purpose of satisfying the Executive Council as required under subsections (3) and (4), and that person shall comply with the request.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Law, a non-official member shall hold office for three years and be eligible for reappointment upon and subject to such conditions of service (including remuneration and out-of-pocket expenses) as are in accordance with existing regulations, and such member shall after the appointment or reappointment, as the case may be, be removable only on the grounds of misbehaviour or inability from any cause to discharge the functions of his office.
(2) A non-official member may, by notice in writing addressed to the Commissioner, resign his office.
A person shall cease to be a member if he—
(c) is adjudged a bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(d) is whilst a member convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or other moral turpitude;
(e) is incapacitated from discharging the functions of his office by reason of infirmity of body or mind or otherwise;
(f) being a non-official member, is absent, without a reasonable excuse, from three consecutive meetings of the Board; or
(g) is guilty of gross misconduct or other act of misbehaviour including abuse of his office as a member.
The Corporation is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall have power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to hold, acquire and dispose of land.
(1) The seal of the Corporation shall be authenticated by the signatures of—
(a) the Chairman, or a member authorised to act in that behalf; and
(b) the Secretary to the Corporation.
(2) The seal of the Corporation shall be in the custody of the Secretary who shall keep it securely in the office of the Corporation, and free from access to any other person.
(3) That seal shall be judicially noticed.
(1) So far as its resources permit and subject to the provisions of this Law, the Corporation—
(a) shall print and publish a newspaper or newspapers; and
(i) print and publish periodicals, pamphlets or other organs of information;
(ii) print any works, documents, forms or papers for and on the requisition of the government, a statutory corporation or a Government agency; or
(iii) engage in general commercial printing.
(2) The Corporation shall have power to acquire, hold, manage or operate such plant, machinery or equipment and do all such things as it may deem necessary or requisite for or conducive, incidental or ancillary to the performance of the functions set out in subsection (1), and it may make any arrangement or enter into agreement with any person for the sale, distribution or circulation of a newspaper, periodical, pamphlet or other organ printed and published by it.
(3) In the discharge of the functions of the Corporation the Board shall not have or exercise executive or administrative powers, but it shall be its duty to lay down the economic, financial, operational and administrative plans and programmes for execution by the management of the Corporation, and to formulate in broad terms the editorial policy of every newspaper, periodical or other organ of information printed and published by the Corporation.
(1) The Board may meet as often as its business shall require, but not less than four times in a year; and shall notify the Commissioner in writing of the date, time and place of every meeting of the Board.
(2) Subject to subsection (4) the Board shall not meet unless the Chairman and three other members are present thereat.
(3) Subject to subsection (1) the Chairman may summon a meeting of the Board at any time, or within twenty-one days of receiving a notice in writing signed by any four members requesting the Chairman to summon a special meeting of the Board for such purposes as are set out in the notice.
(4) The Chairman shall preside at a meeting of the Board at which he is present, and in the event of the Chairman’s absence, and when the Commissioner has not appointed a member to act temporarily in his place, the members present shall select a member present to preside.
(5) The Chairman, or member presiding, has original and a casting vote.
(6) Subject to this Law, the Board may regulate its own proceedings and make Standing Orders for that purpose.
(7) The Board may co-opt any person having special knowledge for any meeting but persons so co-opted shall not be entitled to vote thereat or count in the determination of the quorum.
(8) A member shall not be personally liable for an act or default of the Corporation either done, or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the course of its operations.
(9) The validity of any proceedings of the Board of the Corporation shall not be affected by any vacancy in the membership or a defect in the appointment of a member of the Corporation.
(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Board shall from time to time appoint fit persons into the service of the Corporation, including the editorial, reportorial and technical staff and, in particular, such principal executive or management staff of the Corporation as may appear necessary including—
(a) General Manager;
(b) Secretary to the Corporation;
(c) Chief Accountant;
(e) Chief Commercial Manager;
(f) Works Manager, by whatsoever name known; and
(g) Press Engineer.
(2) The power of appointment, confirmation of appointment, appointment on promotion, promotion, posting, transfer, dismissal or any other disciplinary control of the General Manager of the Corporation shall be exercised by the Public Service Commission subject to the approval of the Governor in Council.
(3) The like power as is mentioned in subsection (2) of this section relating to the Corporation shall be exercised—
(a) in respect of the principal officers of the Corporation, other than the General Manager of the Corporation, but including those on salary level 11 and above, by the Civil Service Commission;
(b) in respect of permanent staff on salary level 07 up to and including level 10, by the Board on the recommendation of management;
(c) in respect of other staff on salary level 01 up to and including level 06, by the management of the Corporation.
The Board may, with the approval of the Commissioner, and subject to the provisions of this Law, make regulations with respect to the matters mentioned in subsections (2) and (3) of section 8 of this Law, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, make regulations for any of the following matters—
(a) the qualifications to be required for appointments;
(b) the period of probation;
(c) the form of any agreement to be entered into between the Board and its employees;
(d) the terms and conditions of service (including, without prejudice to the generality of that expression, the salaries and allowances, the grant of leave and advances, the provisions of quarters, and medical and dental treatment);
(e) the procedure and requirements for promotions;
(f) the maintenance of discipline (including dismissal and the termination of appointments);
(g) the transfer of employees between the Board and the Government of the State, any other State, Local Authority, or any Statutory Corporation;
(h) such other matters relating to departmental procedure, duties and responsibilities of employees as the board considers can be best provided for by regulations.
The Board may make rules, with respect to its employees, for—
(a) the pensions, gratuities and retirement benefits to be granted to pensionable employees of the Board and their dependants;
(b) the gratuities and retirement allowances to be granted to non-pensionable employees of the Board and their dependants;
(c) all matters ancillary to the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
(1) The Secretary to the Corporation, who shall be the accounting officer for the purpose of controlling and disbursing the Corporation’s fund, shall, in the discharge of his general duty of assisting the General Manager in implementing decisions of the Board, be responsible to the General Manager.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of subsection (1), the Secretary to the Corporation shall have the duty of—
(a) making arrangements for Board meetings;
(b) preparing the agenda of, and recording the minutes of proceedings at, Board meetings;
(c) conveying decisions of the Board to Board members and to the General Manager;
(d) arranging for payment of fees and allowances, and attending to matters affecting Board members; and
(e) executing any other duties affecting the Board which are specifically assigned to him by the Board, the Chairman or the General Manager.
Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (3) of section 6 regarding the determination of editorial policy, the Board shall, in formulating the policy of any newspaper, periodical or other organ of information printed and published by the Corporation, ensure that every such newspaper, periodical or organ of information—
(a) provides constructive guidance to the public upon any matter of public interest or concern;
(b) promotes a healthy and cordial relationship and co-operation among the several component units of the State and between them and the Government;
(c) presents the problems, aspirations and achievements of the Government and people of the State; and
(d) guards against unlawful invasion of the liberties and rights of the individual.
The Editor-in-Chief shall be responsible to the General Manager who shall not unreasonably interfere with the Editor-in-Chief’s professional independence and judgment; and in discharging his responsibility of implementing the general editorial policy laid down by the Board, the Editor-in-Chief shall ensure that details in the news, views and comments published in every newspaper, periodical or other organ of information of the Corporation reasonably and adequately reflect that policy and keep within the limits of the law.
(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of section 13 of this Law the power to execute the plans and programmes of the Corporation laid down by the Board pursuant to subsection (3) of section 6 of this Law and to run the affairs of the Corporation is vested in the General Manager, and the General Manager is free to determine in a businesslike manner the most efficient method of deploying or applying the Corporation’s human and material resources to obtain the best results.
(2) Nothing in this Law shall be construed as conferring power on the General Manager to disburse the funds of the Corporation without the prior consent in writing of the Secretary to the Corporation and the Chief Accountant.
(1) Subject to subsection (2) of section 19 and this section, the Corporation may, by its Board, borrow sums of money required by it for meeting any of its obligations or performing its functions.
(2) A person lending money to the Corporation shall not be bound to inquire whether the borrowing of money is within the power of the Corporation.
Without prejudice to the provisions of section 15, the Executive Council may, whenever it thinks fit, and subject to the state of the finances of the State, authorise a loan advance to the Corporation from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, upon such terms and conditions as it may prescribe.
For the purpose of checking or detecting fraud, financial and purchase transactions shall not be left in the hands of any single officer or servant of the Corporation, but the process of every such transaction shall be spread to enable at least three functionaries of the Corporation to have specific responsibilities therein and so that each of the responsibilities is complementary one to another.
Power to award a contract shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of any enactment in force in the State as may from time to time be amended.
(1) The Commissioner shall not be concerned in the administration of the affairs of the Corporation, but he shall be responsible for approving—
(a) the Corporation’s by-laws;
(b) the capital expenditure budget of the Corporation, and shall have power to direct the Corporation to prepare accounts in any form that conforms to the best commercial standards; and
(c) rates and scales of charges for services (including advertisements) rendered by the Corporation to the public.
(2) Subject to approval by the Executive Council, the Commissioner shall have power to—
(a) issue directives to the Board on the disposal of surplus funds;
(b) sanction any extension of the Corporation’s activities; or
(i) loans and advances to the Corporation;
(ii) capital development projects and arrangements for financing them;
(iii) the acquisition and disposal of land;
(iv) appointment of external auditors, who shall be a reputable firm of professional accountants with at least three full-time partners.
(1) The Commissioner may give to the Board directives of a general or special nature with regard to the exercise by the Corporation of its functions; and, as the case may require, it shall be the duty of the Chairman, the Board and the General Manager, to comply with the directives unless matters of policy are in dispute and subsection (2) applies.
(2) In the application of subsection (1), where the Commissioner intends to initiate a policy, he must consult with the Chairman of the Board, and in the event of disagreement, the policy and any directive issued shall stand suspended, so however that if any part in dispute is severable from any other aspects of policy not in dispute, the policy or the directive issued shall be suspended only in respect of the part in dispute; and thereafter the policy, or the part in dispute, as the case may be, so suspended shall, after reference to it by the Commissioner, be affirmed, modified, or rejected by the Executive Council as that Council may think fit and so direct.
(1) The Executive Council may appoint from among its members—
(a) a Standing Committee on Corporations’ Accounts, which shall have power to—
(i) scrutinise audited accounts of the Corporation;
(ii) summon persons for examination and call for documents;
(iii) consider, in consultation with the Chairman and the General Manager, the recurrent and capital expenditures of the Corporation and lay down broad expenditure limits for any one financial year;
(iv) without prejudice to the powers of the Corporation to deploy or apply its resources within those limits; and
(b) a committee to examine plans and projects of the Corporation.
(2) Every committee appointed under subsection (1) shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable, report is findings to the Executive Council which shall have power to give directions to the Board through the Commissioner, and the Board shall carry out every such direction.
(3) Where exceptionally compelling circumstances arise so that the General Manager considers it necessary to exceed the upper limit of expenditure approved by the Executive Council, the General Manager shall, through the Board, satisfy the Standing Committee, and the Executive Council may approve or reject the Corporation’s application to exceed the laid down limits.
(1) The Corporation shall—
(a) keep proper accounts;
(b) keep proper records relating to the accounts; and
(c) prepare, in respect of each financial year, a statement of accounts in a form approved by the Commissioner under subsection (1) of section 19.
(2) The accounts of the Corporation shall be audited annually by the Government Auditor or by external auditors appointed by the Corporation subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of section 19.
(3) The Government Auditor or external auditors shall furnish two types of reports, that is to say—
(a) a report for publication which shall show the broad financial position of the Corporation and any substantial points to which it is considered necessary to draw the attention of the public; and
(b) a “domestic report” which shall incorporate the auditors’ detailed observations and recommendations on all aspects of their assignment.
(4) As soon as possible after the end of the financial year, the Board shall—
(a) prepare a general report of the Corporation’s proceedings during the financial year; and
(b) transmit to the Commissioner—
(i) that report; together with
(ii) a certified copy of the audited accounts of the Corporation mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (3).
(5) The Commissioner shall lay before the Executive Council Standing Committee on Corporations’ Accounts copies of—
(a) the report referred to in subsection (4); together with
(b) the certified copy referred to in paragraph (b) (ii) of that subsection.
(1) There shall be an Internal Audit Unit in the accounting department of the Corporation in charge of an accounts officer of high rank who shall be styled “Head of Internal Audit”.
(2) The Head of Internal Audit shall not be removed from his office except on grounds of inefficiency or dishonesty in the discharge of his duties.
(3) Any disagreement between the Head of Internal Audit and the General Manager touching the duties of the Internal Audit Unit shall immediately be referred by the General Manager to the Board which shall have power, with the sanction of the Commissioner, to resolve the disagreement; where the disagreement arises from a finding or recommendation of the Internal Audit Unit, the Head of Internal Audit shall, whenever practicable, first obtain the opinion of the Government Auditor or the external auditors, as the case may be, before a reference is made as aforesaid.
(4) The Internal Audit Unit shall supervise the implementation of the recommendations of the Government Auditor or the external auditors as the case may be, and may make recommendations for improvements in existing accounting procedure and management practice.
Where by-laws of the Corporation may affect the interests of the consuming public the Commissioner shall lay such by-laws before the Executive Council in the form of a statutory instrument.
Service upon the Corporation of a notice or order or other document may be effected by—
(a) delivering it to or at the office of; or
(b) sending it by registered post addressed to, the Secretary to the Corporation.
Stamp duties under the Stamp Duties Law and registration fees under the Land Instruments Registration Law are not payable in respect of an instrument whereby land is conveyed or leased to the Corporation.
The Executive Council shall approve the name or title of every newspaper or periodical which the Corporation may propose to print and publish.
(1) In this Law unless the context otherwise requires—
“Board” means the Board of the Corporation constituted under section 1;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner charged with responsibility for information;
“Corporation” means the Newspaper Corporation established by section 1;
“financial year” means the period of twelve calendar months ending on the thirty-first day of March;
“Government Auditor” means the Auditor-General of the state and includes his representative;
“member” includes the Chairman of the Corporation;
“State” means the Cross River State of Nigeria.
(2) The act of the Board shall be deemed to be the act of the Corporation.
This Law may be cited as the Newspaper Corporation Law.
NEWSPAPER CORPORATION LAW
No Subsidiary Legislation