Nigerian Observer

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Nigerian Observer
Nigerian Observer logo.jpg
TypeDaily newspaper
PublisherBendel Newspapers Company Limited
HeadquartersBenin City, Nigeria

The Nigerian Observer is a daily newspaper published in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. It has been published since 29 May 1968.[1] The publisher, Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, is owned by the Edo State Government.[2]

In 1973, a correspondent for the Nigerian Observer wrote an article about an impending teacher's strike in Rivers State, which was published on the Governor Alfred Diete-Spiff's birthday. Taking this as a deliberate insult, Diete-Spiff's aide Ralph Iwowari had the reporter's head publicly shaved and had him beaten with 24 lashes of a cane.[3] At that time the Nigerian Observer was owned by Bendel State, the predecessor of Edo State. The Rivers State newspaper The Tide did not mention the conflict with the teachers.[4]

During the administration of President Shehu Shagari (1979-83) the newspaper was subject to harassment by the police, with staff being detained and the premises shut, as were other papers belonging to state governments controlled by opposition parties.[5] Early in 1989 worsening economic conditions forced the paper to close for some time.[6] On 22 July 1993 the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida banned the Nigerian Observer, as well as the National Concord, The Punch and the Daily Sketch.[7]

An analysis of the Nigerian Observer and other Nigerian papers published in 1999 noted that it had a relatively small circulation, with only 15% of column inches taken up by advertisements, compared to 50% in a typical North American paper. Many of the ads were government bulletins; low revenue coupled with shortage of newsprint had the effect of limiting coverage of events, and in particular of limiting investigative reporting.[8]


  1. ^ "Contact Us", Nigerian Observer website.] Retrieved on 19 August 2008.
  2. ^ "Countries: Nigeria: News". Stanford University. Archived from the original on 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  3. ^ Ndaeyo Uko (2004). Romancing the Gun: The Press as Promoter of Military Rule. Africa World Press. p. 80. ISBN 1-59221-189-5.
  4. ^ Luke Uka Uche (1989). Mass Media, People, and Politics in Nigeria. Concept Publishing Company. p. 144. ISBN 81-7022-232-X.
  5. ^ Eghosa E. Osaghae (1998). Crippled Giant: Nigeria since independence. Indiana University Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-253-21197-2.
  6. ^ Gunilla L. Faringer (1991). Press Freedom in Africa. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 32. ISBN 0-275-93771-2.
  7. ^ James Phillip Jeter (1996). International Afro Mass Media: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 0-313-28400-8.
  8. ^ Judith Marcus (1999). Surviving the Twentieth Century: social philosophy from the Frankfurt School to the Columbia faculty seminars. Transaction Publishers. p. 189. ISBN 1-56000-352-9.