NTA is the acronym for Nigeria Television Authority. It is the public service broadcasting channel owned by the Nigerian government. NTA is run by branches and network centres, while the headquarters is in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
I attended an interesting class yesterday where we discussed public broadcasting television stations versus commercially owned ones and the license fee charged for watching the BBC (whether or not you watch that channel).As long as you have a television box in your house, you are liable to pay the licence fee, and if you have a laptop, iPad or any device with the capacity to connect to the BBC, you have to pay the fee too(even if you steered completely clear of the channel). This fee is about £145-150 per year (Nigerian currency equivalent of
N37, 500 @ N250 exchange rate).
When the tutor asked if this should be the case, majority said no, and I wondered where the money to fund the organisation would come from then. BBC in my opinion has remained one of the most respected purveyor of news (locally and globally) because it has managed to maintain its position since it is somewhat independent of political or commercial interests – that is, it does not garner funds from these sources. You may have heard the saying that “he who pays the piper, calls the tune.”
If Nigeria could have just one news provider that the public could vouch for and depend on because they and they only fund it, what do you think that would do for the society?
My thinking however may have its foundation laid in the fantasy land of utopia for the following reasons: (1) People would ask me, “how does that put food on my table?” – let’s face it, a lot of people would not be able to afford or be willing to pay for it.
(2) There is no solid mechanism in place now to effectively identify those who would refuse to pay the licence fee. In Britain for instance, whenever you buy a television box (be it a charity shop or posh store), you details are immediately sent to the T.V. Licensing body. You just check your postbox a few days after – “please pay your TV Licence fee”.
Do you have more reasons why it may not work? kindly share with me in the comment section.
Having a television channel run by the public and for the public would do wonders for the practice of democracy in the country – for once ‘independent’ and ‘objective’ would be put into a meaningful context.
It would be void of the ‘pop culture stuff’ that have overtaken almost every channel (music videos, soaps & co), to really inform and educate the public, helping them make quality and informed socio-economic and political decisions as to governance.
It would be an ideal forum for democratic deliberation where citizens can truly exercise their rights to free speech
It would have the potential of being global, thus exporting Nigerian culture (very differently from the Nollywood style of things)
I propose a mobile TV (A channel that exists and is transmitted on only mobile phones). The license would be paid through the telecomm service charging and remitting to the organisation. Perhaps this technology has not been born, perhaps it would be cost-effective thus license would be highly affordable, perhaps all these is just wishful thinking on my part – but I believe it is worth giving a thought to.
Photo Credit: Mail Online