The new Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Alhaji Musa Mayaki, has promised Nigerians that his management team is committed towards the implementation of the community broadcasting blueprint, which is fundamentally targeted at making broadcasting people oriented. His words: ". I appeal to you all our good staff and management not to relent in your hard work and dedication because hard work and dedication are our watchwords in NTA."
On the twin professional issues of content and coverage, the Acting Director General stated that he would ensure improved and well-equipped NTA stations in order to take the digitalization of broadcasting in Nigeria to the next level. On community stations, he disclosed that there is no going back on the NTA expansion project and the establishment of more community stations in order to take broadcasting and information dissemination down to the grassroots. He made the statement in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja recently.
Mayaki said that only the NTA is strategically positioned to positively impact on the people at the grassroots and make a difference in communities since NTA's content decisions at the community stations are not swayed by any commercial or advertising interest which is usually absent in most communities.
He reiterated that NTA Community stations existing for the benefit and best interest of the community.
According to Mayaki, NTA programmes at the community stations are designed to make a positive impact on the quality of life of the people in the communities through the use the power of media to educate, entertain and inspire them at the grassroots. He said that the strategy of telling the stories of the communities in their own perspectives is irresistible and veritable tool for national development.
Mayaki said that "at the community level, NTA works in concert with community partners to ensure that the people at the grassroots are informed on local initiatives that affect their lives and also draw greater attention to the wealth of resources and talents in their communities".
Since his assumption as the Acting Director-General of NTA in May this year, Musa B. Mayaki said he had focused on consolidating on the achievement of his pre-decessors through continued and diligent implementation of NTA's policies in all areas including community broadcasting, digitization and the establishment of robust language channel.
He continued thus; "To date, we have brought up about 10 stations. One, Oshogbo was down. Oshogbo is now on. NTA Lafia was down, it is now up. The only thing we need to do at NTA Lafia is to connect it to the PHCN national grid because they are still using generators. Then, NTA Ife that was down for more than three years or so, is up now. We are getting full signals. In fact, you can get NTA Ife in any part of Osun State. Ijebu-Ode used to be a very key station in Ogun State because Abeokuta had a problem of visibility, because of the hill blocking the signals. So we had a complementary station in Ijebu-Ode that was making all the money for us. It was also down for more than one year, but we have been able to bring it up. Takum was also down, to the extent that the minister of state for power, who is from there, kept 'harassing' the minister of information over that. But the station is up now. Takum is also very strategic because of Nigerians living near the borders with Cameroon. We don't want them to receive signals from Cameroon. We don't want them to lose their identity because of the fact that they are part of Nigeria". Such is the patriotic zeal of the acting Director General.