Our investigative team led by Tony Ademiluyi got a tip off from a trusted source of the huge fraud being perpetrated by some newspaper vendors who cheat the newspapers off their advertising revenue which is the traditional revenue source of most newspapers.

Below is the report:

Change of name and other adverts have now become one big, shady business for desperate hustlers, especially in Lagos and Ogun states, investigations reveal. But, feelers have it that it is a nationwide issue.

It seems advert rates published periodically by various newspapers; have been thrown off the window by some desperate newspaper vendors, business centre owners, advert conversers, agents, etc,

Top newspapers in Nigeria like: The Punch, Nation, The Guardian, The Sun, Thisday, Vanguard, Businesday, etc, charge N5000 on the average for change of names per slot.

Others such as: Daily Independent, New Telegraph, West Africa Business News, News Direct, charge less for the same change of names.  While WABN charges N1500, Daily Independent collects N2000, while National Business rate goes for N500 per slot.  

 Yes, it is true the times are hard. Daily, the economies of individuals, corporate bodies, states and nations are either being threatened, or are collapsing in developed and developing countries.

COVID-19, has also added insult to injury and people are now becoming desperate hustlers for survival. Ethics in business and private lives have been thrown to the winds.

Adverts are the life blood of newspapers, magazines and online media outfits across the globe.

Our correspondent was at a  popular newsstand located at Iyana Coker bus-stop along Lagos-Abeokuta expressway last month, when the vendor collected N10, 000 from a lady who was determined to affect her change of name for publication in order to submit the newspaper to her bank-Wema Bank.

Another vendor at the same expressway around vesper bus-stop, almost landed into trouble, but was rescued by some public spirit Nigerians. He charged a woman N5000 for a change of name advert in Daily Independent that costs N2000 per slot.

Surveillance reveals that most business centers located around Sango Ota, Abeokuta, Shagamu, charge their customers over 500%, especially for change of names and public notice.

The story-line is not different from Lagos vendors, most of whom are collecting as much as N10.000 or more for change of names and N25, 000 or more for public notices.

At Ikeja, Maryland, Oshiodi, Mile 12, Victoria Island, bus-stops, where most vendors have their newsstands, the charges are simply crazy despite the fact that newspapers do publish their advert rates periodically.

A popular newspaper vendor around Allen Avenue in Ikeja, has his sign boards, strategically located at Awolowo road, Aramide Avenue,  Toyin Street, Opebi and some of the inner streets.

 Vendor a source allegedly loves placing his change of names  and other adverts with West Africa BusinessNews, that is has about the cheapest advert rates .

But,  an official of the Newspapers/Magazines Distributors Association, Iyana-Ipaja unit, Lagos, said they must make money as commissions, as vendors are in business to make profits.

But, Sunday Etim, an advert executive with a national newspaper wondered why desperate people are collecting as much as 500% from people seeking to place change of name or public notice.

In this time of economic downturn, it seems some journalists, circulation officers, press boys, security officers, administrative staffers are now hustling for adverts to earn jumbo commissions, Edith Nwafor lamented.

Some newspapers and online news portals make hundreds of thousands of naira or foreign currencies, daily. However, it is clear that some hustlers are shrinking the profits margin of these newspapers and cornering some money by the day.