Tag Archives: Nigerian Television Authority

Government probes NTA over alleged fraud

Nigeria’s Senate has uncovered an alleged multibillion-naira fraud in the joint venture between the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Chinese satellite pay TV company StarTimes.

Yakubu Ibn Mohammed

The allegation was made by the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning after the NTA’s expenses were scrutinised during discussions about the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

It found that the documents submitted by the director-general of the NTA, Mohammed Yakubu, did not mention the deal with StarTimes and nor did they refer to remitted revenues into the federation account.

The affair came to light when committee chairman Solomon Olamilekan asked why the NTA was blocking StarTimes from being registered with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Yakubu denied the claim, saying: “The Nigerian Television Authority could not have blocked StarTimes from registering with the NBC as it is currently in a joint-venture agreement with the company.”

The NTA entered the JV with StarTimes in 2010 with a 70/30 sharing ratio in favour of the Beijing-based company.

When Yakubu was unable to convince the panel how much the NTA had earned from its venture with StarTimes over the years, it demanded to see records showing what the NTA generates from production, advertising and documentaries.

It also asked that the NTA return with its debt profile containing the names of its debtors, dates, amount incurred and the name of the official that authorised it for publication.

The Senate ordered that all revenue-generating agencies of government should fron now on remit all their earnings into the consolidated revenue funds out of which their cost of collection will be given to them. The panel claimed the arrangement will shore up revenue for the government as well as prevent wastage in the system.

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TV, radio offer classes amid Covid-19

The Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) are planning to start radio and television broadcasts for pupils as a result of the closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Adam Adamu

According to the ministry, the broadcast classes will begin in May if the education ministry, the FRCN, the Nigerian Television Authority and the National Broadcasting Commission are able to finalise plans for  operational licences and the purchase of transmitters.

Classes to be aired would follow a timetable, after which examination may be conducted.

The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, had earlier said that the government will begin basic primary school classes on the national media to enable pupils to learn during the Covid-19 pandemic break.

Ben Goong, the director of press at the ministry, said: “We are taking the next step between Friday and Tuesday. There will be a radio component and a television component. We plan to create a different network on the FRCN so that we don’t break into the established listening schedules.

“The broadcast will run from morning to night, covering all subjects such as mathematics and English. We will segment the programmes into classes. What we plan is to bring the best hands from our schools to take the subjects. We will use the best in specific subjects. The issue of inability to deliver well will not arise.

“Two, the broadcast will be uniform. What is being taught in Jigawa, Sokoto will be watched in Lagos. There will be series of subjects in a day for different classes. There will be nothing like, ‘Our teachers didn’t come to school today.’

“When it is time for exams, you register in the centre nearest to you and you write your exams, class by class. It will be impossible with these broadcasts for children to still be regarded as out-of-school children. We are likely to bring the request letter formally from the ministry in the coming week to FRCN. Due process must be followed.”

He added that this would eradicate the problem of rising out-of-school children, currently put at about 10.2 million, as well as bridge the gap created by the closure of schools during the pandemic.

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NTA scores Premier League rights

The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has acquired the rights to broadcast at least one live English Premier League football game per match-week over the course of the 2019-2022 rights cycle.

Yakubu Ibn Mohammed

The sub-licence deal was brokered between Nigerian sports marketing company Integral Sponsorship & Experiential Marketing and Infront, the current holder of free-to-air distribution rights to the league in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jean-François Jeanne, MD of Infront France, said: “Nigeria is a key market for the English Premier League. Together with Integral, we hope to maximise its media exposure in the country and provide an opportunity for passionate Nigerian fans to follow the action on free-to-air TV.”

Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, director general of the NTA, added: “In terms of excitement, the Premier League is at a pedestal higher than that offered by any other league in the world. The NTA is proud to partner with Integral to bring the excitement to the living rooms and viewing centres of Nigerians.”

Integral MD Abimbola Ilo said: “Given the huge popularity of the Premier League in Nigeria, Integral is pleased to partner with Infront to bring Nigerians the excitement of the Premier League weekly on the country’s national television station, the NTA network. With this deal, we bring the Premier League closer to its fans in Nigeria.”

Chichi Nwoko, Integral’s associate director of sports rights and media partnerships, added: “We are pleased to secure this important deal that guarantees availability of the Premier League, a globally recognised brand, on free-to-air TV in Nigeria.”

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Government seeks $500m to digitise NTA

The federal government is seeking a US$500m loan in order to digitise Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) stations in the country.

Lai Mohammed

According to Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, the fund will be used to improve the creative industry in Nigeria as well as create 100,000 jobs for young people.

“The fund will aid in the establishment of a media and cultural training centre which will help train Nigerian broadcasters and filmmakers and also generate revenue for the nation. The International Telecommunication Union has given a dateline for nations to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcast,” he said.

He added that the digitalisation of all NTA stations would help to improve the quality of the nation’s television programmes.

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NTA, HotSports get World Cup rights

The Nigerian Television Authority and its marketing partner, HotSports, have secured broadcast rights to the Nigerian national football team’s forthcoming Word Cup qualifying matches.

The free-to-air rights are for the second round of qualifying for the 2022 tournament in Qatar, comprising six matches.

HotSports Media Group president Taye Ige said: “Brands and other businesses are guaranteed rewarding returns on their investments in the broadcast and other sponsorship activities for the national teams.

“Other television networks and stations across the country would be encouraged to join the partnership to boost viewing experience for Nigerians, irrespective of their locations during the qualifiers.”

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NTA, NCC campaign against piracy

The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) have linked up to launch a copyright awareness and enforcement campaign in a bid to stamp out broadcast piracy.

Ibn Muhammed

The news was revealed during the visit of the director general of the NCC, John Asein, to the NTA’s headquarters in Abuja.

The NCC acknowledged the contribution of the creative industries to Nigeria’s socio-economic development and also celebrated copyright owners.

Asein urged the NTA to imbibe a culture of respect for copyright in Nigeria and to educate people to instill zero tolerance for piracy in Nigeria.

He said: “The NCC and NTA would work together to do an intellectual property audit of NTA rights and the NCC would intensify its enforcement measures to shut down the copyright infringement outlets in unauthorised hotels, TV stations and airports, among many others.”

According to the DG of NTA, Ibn Muhammed: “Piracy will decrease with more public enlightenment and the NTA will support the NCC in its campaign to educate Nigerians on the values of respect for copyright and the legal implications of the piracy of protected creative works.”

He added that the NTA will partner with the NCC to secure its assets across the country and also ensure that an improved broadcasting environment is created and regulated by Nigeria’s laws.

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NTA dropped from Sky platform

The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has had its international channel removed from Europe’s largest digital satellite TV service, Sky, and barred from airing on channel 794 via the platform.

The move was confirmed by a message on Sky’s website which reads: “NTA International is currently temporarily removed from the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide).”

A Sky customer service official in the UK said that Sky had no control over NTA International since its rights are controlled by London-based minority channel distributor Ben TV.

However, according to sources, the news of NTA’s suspension broke shortly after the NBC and AIT dispute, in which Nigeria’s media regulator locked horns with Daar Communications, owner of independent broadcaster AIT.

That issue saw NBC suspend Daar’s broadcasting licence over alleged breaches of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code in its political coverage, but the matter was resolved earlier this week.

The move has not impacted Ben TV’s own channel on the Sky platform, which broadcasts into the UK, Ireland, Italy and German-speaking Europe. Sky is owned by US cable giant Comcast, also parent of NBCUniversal.

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NTA news anchor Cyril Stober retires

Cyril Stober

Veteran Nigerian broadcaster Cyril Stober, who had been a news anchor at Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for 30 years, has retired.

Although there was speculation he had been working on a contract basis, after reportedly resigning from NTA in 2015, news of his retirement has spread like wildfire.

Cyril began his broadcasting career with NTA Minna and anchored the NTA news at 21.00.

A respected figure in the Nigeria media industry, he will be remembered for his habitual introduction: “Good evening. I am Cyril Stober and this is NTA news.”

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