Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper began its journey in 2013 as an ambitious online newspaper, with determination by the initiator, to make the difference in the way of doing online Journalism.
The idea for the establishment of the online newspaper came through a versatile and veteran Journalist, Yusuf Ozi Usman, who had traversed newspaper and magazine world since 1980 when he started out as cub reporter with the then Standard newspaper, published by the Plateau State government, and later, New Nigerian Newspapers, published by the Federal Government of Nigeria. He also worked with Sokoto newspaper as News Editor, the Democrat in Kaduna, Newsfirst magazine in Kano as Editor/Managing Director; Thisday newspaper, Daily Trust newspaper and so on.
The idea of establishing an online medium stemmed from the prevailing circumferences where reporters were hardly paid their legitimate salaries, as at when due (which became a norm in most publishing houses); a situation that had the semblance of exploitation. The idea was further enforced by the fact that online newspaper looked set to take over from the traditional media practice and he would not want to be left behind.
He therefore went solo, and with some financial resources at his disposal, made some contacts with relevant stakeholders in his life, and in April 2012, launched Greenbarge Reporters into the internet world for daily news updates.
The website was designed by the then undergraduate of the Abubakar Audu University, Anyamgba in Kogi State, Abdulrahman Salau. He was reading Political Science, after which he did his PGD in mass communications at the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Abuja.
When Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper was launched into the internet, the need to turn the business into a limited liability one came. We began to search for shareholders to form a Board. Luckily, we got not only a Chief Nursing Offer, Mrs. H. N. Shuaibu to buy a share, but above all, Alhaji Abba Dabo, a Special Adviser to the then Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Namadi Sambo to be the chairman of the Board.
After a series of meetings, we registered the company with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as Greenbarge Media and Communications Limited (GMCL) on July 28, 2013 at No 12B Danube Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja. Another member of the Board is Abdulrahman Salau, who, though did not bring in cash, was admitted on the basis of his service of maintaining and upgrading the site at regular intervals. Barrister Charles Audu and Chambers later joined the Board as Director of Legal Services.
With the breakout of COVID 19, we moved our operations headquarters to Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for easy coordination. We however, maintain our contacts in Port Harcourt, Lagos, UK, France, The US and South Africa.
But, just as we were set for business, the Board chairman, Abba Dabo was no longer forthcoming, especially as the campaign for 2015 general elections appeared to have taken all his attention. We were virtually stranded: we were like sheep without a shepherd.
However, with the original initiator of the concept, Yusuf Ozi Usman, still around, the work on Greenbarge Reporters online progressed, though attempts on two occasions to publish hardcopy magazine of the online version failed due to lack of good fund.
However, it is a thing of joy and pride that Greenbarge Reporters online has remained steadfast in the area of daily updates of news, and beyond that, the fact that we never had any major breakdown on our site, though we were attacked by hackers on two or three occasions. We were off the air, so to speak, for less than 10 days all through the ten years.
The journey through the ten Years of being properly in the media reckoning has not been rosy; the only major source of income, advertisement, has been slow in coming. Almost all advertisements were secured through the contacts and friends our Editor-In-Chief had made when he was in the traditional media Organisations.
We want to put on record for posterity, individuals, corporate Organizations and groups whose patronages have kept us afloat all these while. They are:
1. Alhaji Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, ex FCT minister and present Bauchi State Governor.
2. Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar (CFR), Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
3. Senator Tanko Al-Makura, ex Nasarawa State Governor
4. Yusuf Magaji Bichi (CFR), Director General of the Directorate of the State Service (DSS).
5. Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, ex Kano State Governor
6. Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to ex President Muhammadu Buhari
7. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on media and publicity to ex President Muhammadu Buhari
8. Dr. Abdulmumin Isa, Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
9. Isaac Okorafor, retired CBN Director of the Corporate Communications
10. Olalekan Joseph Ajayi of the CBN
11. Garba Deen Muhammad, Spokesman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL)
12. Muhammad Musa Bello, ex minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
13. Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, ex FCT minister of State
14. Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed, Spokesperson of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
15. Mr. Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola of the FIRS
16. Chief Tony Elumelu, a giant industrialist and philanthropist.
17. Mrs. Bola Attah, Group Head, Corporate Communications at the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
18. Ramon Olanrewaju Nasir, Public Relations and Marketing Communication expert at UBA
19. Dotun Oladapo, ex President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP)
20. Maureen Chigbo, President of GOCOP
21. Danlami Nmodu (mni), Deputy President of GOCOP
22. Horatius Egua, publisher of The Bridge online
23. Abdulrasheed Olawale, spokesperson to Osun State Governor
24. Reuben Muokan, Chief spokesperson of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)
25. Dr. Omoniyi Ibieta of the NCC
26. Ustaz Abubakar, special adviser to ex FCT minister
27. abu IMAM (Mayor), Onizeiza (Dan Amana – Truth bearer) of Ebira
28. Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, Spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related Offences Commission (ICPC)
29. Biodun Oladunjoye, Director of Information, State House, Abuja.
30. Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, ex chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)
31. Alhaji Farouk Umar Musa, Owner of Vision FM Radio and Farin Wata TV stations
32. Captain Everest Nnaji at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos
33. Late Ambassador Adnan Mahmud Bostaji, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria
34. Late Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to ex President Buhari
36. Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
37. Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
38. Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL)
39. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
40. Delta State Government (under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan)
41. United Bank for Africa (UBA)
43. Dangote Group
44. Amb. Aminu Bashir Wali, former Nigerian Ambassador to China and Foreign Affairs minister
45. Alhaji Ataba Mohammed Sani Omonori, former Clerk of the National Assembly.
The contributions of those mentioned above, advertently or otherwise, made us to remain in business, especially in an environment where online newspaper business is still in its infancy. Many people are still very attached to conventional/traditional print and broadcasting media, far away from the online medium.
Operating under the type of condition where adverts are few in coming, despite the fact that online newspapers deliver news to the readers/visitors faster, means an extra patience, prayers and hard work.
We have no choice than to accept this reality, while still clinging to our good friends and well-wishers, as individual and corporate Organizations, for survival. We have also been exploring income from Google through Adsense, even as we tried making money from link to the MTN, through a third-party, but could not make any big headway.
We are hoping however, to cultivate more friends and well-wishers who would afford us the opportunity of serving them in the areas of our specialisation, which includes but not limited to advertising, book and magazine printing and production, Public Relations services, research works and writing to earn funds.
With possible availability of funds, we are still determined to add hardcopy magazine to the online publication, probably within the shortest possible period, close enough, to mark our 10 Anniversary.
This will be in our effort to expand beyond online outing.
In all, we give special glory to Almighty God for keeping us alive and healthy to continue to churn out news after news to our growing readers/visitors spread across many countries of the world.
We humbly salute and appreciate our readers/visitors, as well as all those who patronize Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper in one way or another, for keeping faith with us. We can’t thank you enough!