THE prevailing downturn in the nation’s economy is having a toll on the seat of power, as newspaper supply to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has been ordered drastically reduced.

The decision said to have the blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari has seen the supply of national dailies restricted to a few top officials of government.

It was learnt for instance that supplies to the offices of the Chief of Staff to the president, the Permanent Secretary State House and the Deputy Chief of Staff were not spared as their daily supplies were cut down, in some cases, from four copies to one.

Even though it was not clear when the directive came into effect, the situation is said to be impacting negatively on newspaper circulation in Abuja as media houses involved have found themselves having to deal with additional unsold copies that could have been supplied to the Presidency.

The newspapers’ houses which have been making supply to the Presidential Villa are also lamenting that apart from the losses they have incurred because of the reduced supply, they are being owed from previous supplies.

One newspapers agent told Nigerian Tribune that the decision to reduce newspaper supply to villa was harming his daily returns.

He said that he learnt that government was complaining about lack of money to pay for newspapers, wondering what would become of the debt arising from previous supply.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed the story, blaming the situation on the increase in the cover prices of national dailies.

According to him, the increase has shot up the newspaper supply bill paid by the presidency.

Asked why the supply was drastically reduced, Adesina said: “Cost ballooned after new cover prices.”

It would be recalled that in March this year, a number of newspaper houses raised the costs of their dailies from N150 to N200 while the weekend titles went from N200 to N250.