BRIEF HISTORY OF BENUE PRINTING AND PUBLISHING CORPORATION
The Benue State Executive Council, had by its conclusion No.5 (77) dated March 3, 1977, approved in principle, the establishment of the Benue Printing and Publishing Corporation as provided in the Enabling Edict of the defunct Benue-Plateau State No.6 of 1972. In Council conclusion No.9 (77) of April 20, 1977, it was further approved that a committee of three be formed to study ways and means of setting up the Corporation. The Committee members visited Jos, Kaduna, Ilorin, and Benin between April 22/29, 1977, to collect the necessary data from already established and functioning newspaper houses.
An Editor/Coordinator who was a Senior Officer of the State Ministry of Information was subsequently appointed for the state newspaper to be known as “NIGERIA VOICE.” The paper was initially printed at the Star Printing and Publishing Corporation, Enugu. The staff of the State Ministry of Information managed the paper until the military regime handed over to civilians in 1979. “THE NIGERIA VOICE made its debut as weekly on Friday July 6, 1979 when it was launched by the Military Administrator, Group Captain Bayo Lawal as a step to bringing the paper nearer to the people.
A part of Government Press premises along Otukpo-Aliade Road, Makurdi, was allocated to BPPC by the State Government, while a permanent site was given to the Corporation along Gboko Road. The press in the newly- acquired premises started rolling the daily edition of “Nigeria Voice” on April 8, 1982 when it was commissioned by President Shehu Shagari and has ever since tried to be relevant even in the face of its many travails.
By 1988 the Corporation had four (4) titles in its stables: The Voice, The Sunday Voice, Voice Sports and The Weekend Voice. Because funding was adequate, these titles were regular and circulated nationwide.
The late Rev. Fr. Adasu (Governor, Benue State) administration in 1992 shut-down the Corporation (BPPC) and converted it to a limited liability company (without a legal backing) to be self sustaining by generating funds to pay salaries of staff and run operation. The attempt to convert the Corporation to a Company did not succeed.
The State Government took over payment of salaries of staff in August, 1994 as it was before the conversion and provided logistics for the complex operation of the Corporation.
Currently, The Voice newspaper is produced weekly, with a 24hrs online services.
The first General Manager Manager of the Corporation was Cyprian Ikyaatema, while the first Editor of the newspaper was James Jukwey
OBJECTIVE OF BPPC:
According to the Amended Benue-Plateau Printing and Publishing Corporation Edict, 1972 on which the BPPC was modelled, “it shall be the duty of the Corporation to disseminate knowledge of and to encourage interest in the state, and to give guidance to the public upon any matter of public interest.” The Edict also stated that the Corporation shall, in the discharge of its duties, have power:-
- to operate news and feature services, including press photography;
- to promote, encourage and stimulate interest in the study of journalism;
- to undertake and arrange for broadcast programmes;
- to give publicity to, and encourage the arts and industries of the state;
- to encourage by competition or otherwise, the composition of music and literature of all kinds;
- to maintain depots for the distribution of newspapers, periodicals, literature and books.
At present, The Voice circulates in Benue, Abuja, Taraba State and other parts of the country.