Posted by News Express | 11 September 2020 | 268 times
By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
All things being equal, the sorry narrative of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 6, Aba, will be rewritten very soon. Courtesy of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who has given assurance to rescue the station from its dilapidated state. The intervention followed a distress call from the station’s management to the governor, outlining the level of the decay in its infrastructure.
The station, which was the centre of attraction earlier before now, is a shadow of itself. The studio equipment is now obsolete. The buildings are now dilapidated with collapsing roofs. The fences have caved in. The state of the infrastructure at the once darling station is better seen than described.
In a pathetic explanation of the sorry state, the General Manager of the station, Nwadi Elobuike, “the back fence of the station had fallen, opening a way for criminals to have unfettered access to the premises.”
But who can deliver the station from this unhealthy situation if not Gov Ikpeazu. Maybe, that is why the management of the station deemed it necessary to sue for the intervention of the governor. And their decision has paid off.
The governor has assured that help will come in seven days’ time. Security first. The premises, according to the governor, will be secured through a perimetre fencing. The governor also demanded the survey plan to facilitate immediate action.
Ikpeazu has also assured some intervention in the area of renovating the studio and major offices. In a few weeks’ time, God willing, staff of the Federal Government-owned station will enjoy a conducive work environment.
However, the governor expressed concern as to why such national institutions, like NTA should be allowed to suffer this level of negligence. Appropriate quarters, such as the NTA Headquarters, should make prompt interventions in such sensitive issues.
Also, NTA, Aba, the governor acknowledged, is a key part of Aba, and its reach in viewership remains an issue to reckon with. Like the governor appealed, all hands of well-meaning Nigerians must be on deck to save the station from collapse.
Ikpeazu’s swift intervention should provide a wake-up call to re-jig the NTA. It will be recalled that Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s administration, under its Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), partially commercialised NTA.
NTA, under this arrangement, was required to commercialise some of its time slots. This attempt was aimed at making the institution change from public broadcasting to partially commercial broadcasting network.
This trend attracted sponsored and brokered religious programmes and live transmission of weddings and funeral services on the network. But the fortunes of the institution began to decline when its monopoly was tampered with, and it began to face competition from some rivals such the African Independent Television (AIT).
It is worthy to note here that NTA is funded partially through subvention from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
But the major criticism trailing NTA is that the content it covers is influenced by government and politicians. This has also affected its fortunes and viewership negatively. It has also been roundly criticised for dependence on antiquated technology in its operations in the 21st century. Though, this is largely blamed on funding.
The time to re-jig this dying network is now. And Ikpeazu has assured them of his support.
In appreciation, the staff and management of the NTA are saying thank you Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, for the swift intervention. It can only come from a listening governor.
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