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DANA Crash: Scrap NTA now!
By: Wale Odunsi.  
 Published  June 5th, 2012

I have watched with utter dismay the gradual descent of the country’s national television into myopia and irrelevance.

For as long as I can remember, the Nigerian Television Authority which although deserves commendation in some areas, has never won the total confidence of the audience when it comes to candid reportage.

Often times, it gives lopsided attention to happenings that is the talk of the moment and would rather air political or some other irrelevant programmes. Little wonder why we aren't serious contenders on the global stage.

It is to say the least appalling that on June 3, 2012, another ‘black day’ that saw over 150 people perish, our dear NTA was showing a documentary. The observing outside world must have laughed their heads off owing to incompetence on the part of a few.

For heavens sake’s what were the managers thinking? If we very much needed them to pull a mischievous prank on our psyche, we would have notified and not them forcing it on our sights. I hope they realize that that singular action is a collective disgrace; even with high-class facilities and immensely talented personnel, the channel could not give us real time reportage of the accident. What preposterousness!

Nigerians home and abroad each time, tune to foreign channels or the internet to get live updates when there is a breaking news in the "Giant of Africa" because we have a redundant and incorrigible national outfit that announcing itself as the largest TV network in Africa is the best it does. Someone should please tell them that line is nauseating; they take so much pride in it but don’t live it up.

All over the world, the several government-owned television stations that were privatized are today very effective. Apart from the autonomy they enjoy, huge investments worth millions of dollars are also gained. Should NTA follow suit, I have no hesitation it will do better than what presently obtains.

Let the channel review its operations and if it is finding it difficult to match general expectations, it should honorably liquidate.

Unfortunately, we are in a country where all that matters to occupants of public officers is how to retain their seats; they lick the boots of their employers, putting them first and the country second.

Shame on the Federal Government that has refused to allow a free hand of broadcasts on its own TV; shame on the Ministry of Information for never having the guts to tell the higher authority what a proper thing is; shame on the National Broadcasting Commission for being a toothless dog that only gnash when asked to; shame on the management of the station for being a brainless stooge that cannot look up to the face of paymasters and tell the truth.

A million ‘gbosas’ for a number of local and international (electronic/print media) outfits for not only staying true to the profession but also rescuing us. The ill-fated incident was recorded and discussed on several blogs and news site. It is amazing what the ‘new media’ revolution is doing too. We were abreast of information while our yeye government-controlled station even with its presence all over the federation kept mute carrying on in a way that suggested “Relax viewers, all is well”.

Before my grammar goes out of hand, let me end by saying this; sometimes none is better than half bread. NTA is a monumental disgrace and should be scrapped! Chikena!

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