NTA SIWES REPORT FOR ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE STUDENTS
NTA is a government-owned and partly commercial broadcaster that was inaugurated in 1977, at inauguration it had monopoly on television broadcasting in the country. The NTA runs the biggest television network in Nigeria with stations in several parts of Nigeria. Formerly known as Nigerian Television (NTV), the network began with a takeover of regional television stations in 1976 by the then Nigerian military authorities, and is widely viewed as the authentic voice of the Nigerian government. NTA’s monopoly was broken in the 1990s.
The Nigerian Television Authority – also known as NTA is a government-owned and partly commercial broadcaster that was inaugurated in 1977, at inauguration it had monopoly on television broadcasting in the country. The NTA runs the biggest television network in Nigeria with stations in several parts of Nigeria. Formerly known as Nigerian Television (NTV), the network began with a takeover of regional television stations in 1976 by the then Nigerian military authorities, and is widely viewed as the authentic voice of the Nigerian government. NTA’s monopoly was broken in the 1990s.
The first chairman of NTV was Olapade Obisesan, a lawyer trained in the United Kingdom and son of Akinpelu Obisesan an Ibadan socialite and first President of Cooperative Bank, Nigeria. The first official director general was Vincent Maduka a former engineer prior to his appointment Maduka was General Manager of Western Nigeria Television, Ibadan, which was Africa’s first television station. The NTA has been criticized by performing artists such as Becky Umeh for pressuring artists to align their expression with government propaganda goals.
The Guardian in its editorial of Sunday October 18, 2009 stated “The federal government-owned television network, the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA) is arguably the largest of its type in Africa, but it is yet to have the operational freedom required to maximize its potentials”. However, the NTA’s monopoly on the Nigerian airspace was broken in the mid-1990s with the establishment of privately owned television stations and networks, notable among which is the Africa Independent Television.
2.2. HISTORY OF NIGERIA TELEVISION AUTHORITY
SIWES REPORT: Television began broadcasting on 31 October 1959 under the name Western Nigerian Government Broadcasting Corporation (WNTV) with Olapade Obisesan as its first Chairman. It was based in Ibadan and was the first television station in Tropical Africa. Other Northern parts of Africa already had a television station.
NTA was founded in 1977. By 1979, it had reached about 20% of the population.
- Television Kaduna / Radio Kaduna Television (RKTV) was established. It was based in Kadunaand was operated by the Broadcasting Company of Northern Nigeria. RKTV also provided coverage for the central northern states. Later in 1977 it was re-branded NTV-Kaduna.
- April 1962 The Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was established; it was a federal government-owned service. Based in the city of Lagos it broadcast to the south western states.
- 1972 Midwest TV was established as TV broadcaster at Port Harcourt. This was run by the state government in Benin.
- 1974 Benue-Plateau Television Corporation (BPTV) was established and was based in Jos. It was the first television station to launch regular/permanent colour broadcasts in Africa. The colour test transmissions commenced 1 October 1975. BPTV was re-branded as NTV-Jos.
- From May 1977 all the state television broadcasters named above were merged and re-branded Nigerian Television (NTV) and are now owned by Nigerian Television Authority.
SIWES REPORT: Dramatic programming like serials and anthology series had existed sparingly in regional television stations before the advent of NTA in 1977, then the regional stations now local affiliates of NTA network had T.V. shows such as Moses Olaiya’s Alawada on WNTV (later NTA Ibadan), Village Headmaster and Hotel de Jordan on NTA Benin. Apart from these few notable ones there were little original content in dramatic series production during the 1970s. By 1980, when the new NTA network had taken over state owned broadcasting stations in the country, there was a concerted effort to increase the level of local content. Since 1977, the network began giving support to the production of notable country-wide network programmes such as Tales by Moonlight, Cock Crow at Dawn, and Mirror in the sun In 1982, NTA Sokoto’s produced drama, Moment of Truth won a prize at the fifth festival of the National Radio and Television Organizations of Africa held in Algiers.
To cultivate interest in the broadcast of original content from Nigerian producers, the network set a ceiling of 20% broadcasting time to be allocated to foreign programming at a time when the cost of acquiring those programs was much less than the locally produced ones. Cock Crow at Dawn an agriculture promotional drama partially sponsored by UBA and produced by Peter Igho who directed the award-winning Moment of Truth emerged as one of the first nationally televised drama series in Nigeria. Though produced by NTA, it did not last long before it was cancelled because of technical and production reasons. Then came Acada Campus another short-lived show produced by Bode Sowande. These series reached majority of accessible people because NTA owned a monopoly on broadcasting in the country.
Beginning in the 1980s, a string of critically acclaimed soap operas were promoted on the network. The first was Laolu Ogunniyi’s Wind against My Soul, then came For Better or Worse and Lola Fani Kayode’s independently produced Mirror in the Sun.