EARLY evening rain on Tuesday, devastated Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation’s (publishers of National Light, SportslightXTRA, and Ka O Di Taa newspapers) premises, torching several equipment worth substantial amount in the process.
The ferocious rain, which started with thunderstorms and fierce winds sent foreboding signals as sheets of wind kept sweeping through the establishment’s buildings, ripping through some roof-parts housing the corporation’s offices unrelentlessly.
By the time the rain began its torrent, some offices were already without roof or any protection from the rain; prompting the management and staff mobilisation of emergency rescue operation of properties within the harm’s line by staff who were still present in the office as at the time.
Offices much affected were the Editors office, where every drop of the rain found its way in, while files and other valuables were hurriedly relocated to safe corners within the area. Another badly affected area was the Newsroom, as waves of rain made incursions uninhibited, threatening to drench the available ramshackle furniture in the section, including computers sets newly setup and other appliances within.
At the Rotary building, the right wing of the roof was blown off, leaving the antiquated rotary machine to the mercy of the rain and endangering one of the main power sources to the establishment- the big Gen section.
At the newly built ICT and Enterprise Centre, some parts of the roof were blown off , while the graphics section and photo section were not spared either.
Reacting to the incidence, the Managing Director and CEO, ANPC, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, reasoned that such a natural occurrence can come any time. “It’s something that has to do with nature. Even as it is a havoc, nobody is to be blamed and nobody to thank, but in everything, we give glory to God. The windy Tuesday, May 21, 2019 rain was devastating to Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation as an establishment.
Three of our buildings suffered damage in different ways. At the press and commercial block, the wind was so devastating that it pulled the roof directly on top of our only printing press. It pulled off the roof that covers the web printing machine and flew it over 80meters away, depositing it on our new ICT building causing further damage not only to the Rotary building but also to the ICT and Enterprise building.
Also, in our older structure, the main Administration Complex housing most of our offices, including the newsroom, computer and graphics section, the wind pulled of the roof, so the rain entered the places as it was pouring, but our luck was that it happened when we were in production process, that was around 4:00 to 5pm, so people were around to save the much they could while production temporarily stopped as power had to be cut off for safety reasons.”
Continuing, Nnabuife explained that the spirited effort put up by workers to save further damage was heartwarming and thanked God that no life was lost in the process. “We are counting our losses in the aftermath but we are upbeat we will overcome whatever challenges that may come with it. The rains are just beginning to gear-up now, so we can’t afford to allow it to hold us to ransom. Whatever it will take us to address it and recover the establishment from its threat, we will do it, especially, given the peculiar topography of the premises.”
Also speaking, the Editor of National Light group of newspapers, Mrs Rose Oranye, thanked God that the incident happened when some of them were still in the office and wondered what would have been their fate if the incident happened in the night.
“As you can see, my office is looking different. We have to rearrange things for the meantime to prevent further damages in case of another rain because this is the season. We are happy with the efforts of the managing director, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, whose swift action – moving into the rain to get whatever material he deemed necessary for covering very sensitive equipments like computers, books and newspapers, along with some other staff. We even brought in receptacles to collate the rain water that would have filled the offices thereby causing more damage.
“ We have reported to government. We are working hard to arrest the situation as quick as possible, otherwise, there may be need to relocate the newsroom as we are about getting to the peak of rainy season and the newsroom staff and equipment cannot be left in danger”.
It will be recalled that the state of National Light’s buildings and equipment has been an issue of concern over the years due to their aging and obsolete nature. Now, the rain has reinforced the urgent need to address it.