Nigeria: Senate Endorses N8 Billion TV Africa Show, Want More Private TV Stations

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The Independent Television and Radio Programm Producers Association of Nigeria (INTARPPAN) has received the blessings of the Senate, which last week insisted on further liberalization of operating licenses of private television operators.

The Association which plans to spend about N8billion on the fiesta dubbed TV in Africa at 50 said it would raise the money through anticipated support from the Corporate Nigeria to celebrate the first transmission of television signal in Africa, which started in Ibadan in the then western Nigeria in 1959.

The Senate last week endorsed the programme, even as the Upper House resolved to put machinery in motion for the success of the projects as well as ensuring increased funding for the broadcast industry.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Ezeh at a meeting yesterday with officials of INTARPPAN yesterday said the Senate is fully in support of the TV at 50 fiesta and will partner with the organizers to ensure the success of the project.

According to Ezeh, "We are not only endorsing the project as a Committee. We are endorsing it on behalf of the Senate as an institution. We are happy as an institution to be part of this celebration and therefore we are very willing to partner with you in whatever capacity." Lamenting that the broadcast industry is poorly funded, Eze said Senate will make efforts to ensure increased funding for the sector to ensure efficiency and enhanced service condition of workers.

In his words, "The funding of the government-owned institutions is not encouraging. The funding is very paltry and I think that, if we are serious about deepening democracy, about information dissemination and transparency in government, we must demonstrate seriousness by the type of funding we give to our media. We want to use the opportunity to call on government to step up the funding of television and radio broadcasting in Nigeria .

Continuing he said, "I believe that the government should increase the premium they place on the institutions by increasing remuneration of the people, who work in these institutions. I think that the time has now come for those who work in the media industry to receive a pay that is commensurate with what they put in". The lawmaker also advocated for the liberalization of the process of licensing of television and radio stations in the country just as he called for increased regulations to ensure adequate monitoring of their activities.

Earlier in the meeting, Chairman of INTARPPAN board of patrons Ambassador Olusegun Olusola solicited the support of the Senate and urged it to endorse the fiesta to enable the association get support and funding from corporate organizations. He said the Association has a budget of N8 billion for the weeklong programme slated for September this year, adding that it has already received the endorsement of the executive. Olusola said the programme is aimed at celebrating the emergence of Television in Africa and to create more public awareness on the activities of the sector, saying Nigeria has a lot of untapped resources in the sector.

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