Originally named the Nigeria Printing and Publishing Company, the Daily Times of Nigeria was incorporated in Nigeria in 1926 and grew to become Nigeria’s most influential newspaper over the next half century. At the height of its operations and business, Daily Times had over twenty titles in its stable.
In 1975, the Federal Government of Nigeria took over the company with the acquisition of 96.5% of the company. As the controlling shareholder, the government appointed a new management which oversaw the progressive decline of the company. Over several years, the company came to rely on annual subventions of about ₦400 million appropriated from the public treasury.
In 2003, the government’s shareholding was offered to the public in an offer which received no tangible response. Another attempt was made in 2004 by listing the company for privatisation through the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE. Offers were pruned and appraised through a transparent and rigorous public bidding process which was televised nationally. Folio Communications Limited was considered and adjudged the preferred bidder
On 16 June 2004, Folio Communications paid its bided offer of ₦1.25 billion to the government. Folio Communications officially assumed the ownership of the Daily Times of Nigeria on September 3, 2004 in a handover ceremony that was televised. However, it quickly became apparent that while the Daily Times of Nigeria had ₦2 billion in assets, it had ₦1.5 billion worth of liabilities.
The printing of the flagship title “The Daily Times” resumed after the assumption of ownership in earnest from 2006 till the year 2009 partially to satisfy the embedded requirements contingent upon the Enterprise Sale Deed while company turn around and restructuring continued. Although the flagship “Daily Times” has returned to the streets since December 2014, further efforts will be injected towards the return of the remaining viable titles, especially the Sunday Times, the Weekend Times and the Lagos Weekend.
The Daily Times Archives The Daily Times Library and Archives remains the largest collection and repository of archival assemblage of journalism materials in Africa, south of Sahara. The digitisation of this archive had been going on since 2012.