10 February 2013

Nigeria: Nduka Obaigbena Shines On the Airwaves With AriseTV

ARISE.TV, newly founded by THISDAY publisher, Chief Nduka Obaigbena, is expected to begin full broadcasting operation in the country by the first quarter of this year.

Already, it has commenced light broadcasting operations in Europe on SKY Channel 234.

The TV station, which has Africa as its focus was launched last week after two days of test broadcasting from its news centres in New York, Johannesburg, Lagos and London. And its founder said it would be live on cable, satellite, the Internet and mobile devices.

But surprisingly, while the TV station announced that it is putting things in order for its smooth take-off in Nigeria in March, the National Broadcasting Commission[NBC] has denied knowledge of the existence of the station and its readiness to begin full broadcasting operation in the country.

NBC, in a statement last Wednesday, said Nduka's new television channel had not been licensed to operate in Nigeria.

Its Director-General, Yomi Bolarinwa, said "Arise News has not applied to the commission for a broadcast licence and does not have a licence to operate in Nigeria's territory."

Mr. Bolarinwa said the commission had been inundated with enquiries on the legal status of the station since the news of the launch broke, and that the TV station did not have a licence to operate in the country.

The NBC boss continued, "The NBC wishes to draw the attention of the public to the fact that the said television operation has not applied to the commission for a broadcast licence in accordance with the provisions of the law governing the establishment and operation of broadcasting stations in Nigeria as provided in Sections 2(1) (b)(c), 2(2) and 11 of the NBC Act No. 38, 1999.

"Section 2(2) states that no person shall operate or use any apparatus or premises for the transmission of sound or vision by cable, television, radio, satellite or any other medium of broadcast from anywhere in Nigeria except under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

"Section 11 states that a request by a person for authority to own, establish or operate a radio, sound, television, cable or satellite station shall be by way of an application for a licence addressed to the Director-General of the commission and in the form prescribed in the second schedule to this Act."

According its founder, "ARISE.TV is expected to do an in-depth coverage of Africa with some of the world's best news producers and TV news experts such as Rob Beynon, a former executive producer with ITN and Sky News and Lyne Pitts, a former Vice President of NBC News and an Executive Producer with CBS America.

Nigerian-born John Chiahemen, a former Reuters bureau chief is its Managing Editor and Head of Africa and Jeff Koinange, an Emmy award winning reporter and formerly CNN's star Africa reporter will be based in Johannesburg as an anchorman and correspondent."

He said the TV message about Africa will be concise and direct. He argued that contrary to what international media would have people believe, there is good news coming out of the continent and much to celebrate. Africans, and people of African descent around the world, have not only achieved landmark successes in fields as varied as music, fashion, business and politics they have formulated and spearheaded solutions to Africa's many challenges.

He said a sister channel, ARISE 360, which will be entertainments-based with fashion, music, sport and pay per view films, will start broadcasting toward the end of the year.

While announcing the launch of the station, Mr. Obaigbena stated that the television station would rival existing giants like CNN, BBC and others in the global market.

It was also said that the news channel will have a strong African footprint, though with international coverage of under-served communities in the United States and other parts of the world when it begins full broadcasting operation across the globe before the end of this year.

He said "We will attract a global audience interested in emerging markets, developing countries and evolving politics. With headquarters and bureaux throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, we are ready to speak to our audience and give them a voice as well.

"We are a new international network established to reflect the new world order not hardwired to the old and built to reflect the modern way news is consumed. Nowhere is this more important than in the emerging economies. There will be no state funding and no state agenda. Our coverage will be balanced, comprehensive and completely independent."

Born in 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria, Mr. Obaigbena grew up in Benin City. He studied Creative Arts and English at the University. After working on Time and Newsweek's special sections on sub-Saharan Africa, he found THISWEEK, as a weekly publication in 1987. Later she set up the daily THISDAY newspaper.

He was known for ambitious projects. He once published THISDAY in South Africa but he was forced to shut down operations due to his inability to cope with the South African laws on conditions of service of workers.

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