Deregulation involves a complete shift from government ownership of the broadcasting media to private ownership. The public participation in the broadcasting industry opens a chapter in the emancipation of the media in Nigeria. Since the 1990s, many privately owned electronic media have sprung in all parts of Nigeria, adding flavour to what the Nigerian audience received as programme content for government-owned radio and television.
At the end of this, you should be able to:
- trace the history of deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria discuss how AIT was founded
- discuss the coverage extent of AIT
- discuss the problem of deregulation in the country.
3.0 MAIN CONTENT
3.1 History of Deregulation of Broadcasting in Nigeria
The clamour for deregulation of the broadcasting media in Nigeria began during the colonial era when the nationalists pressured the British government to allow the indigenous participation in the affairs of state-controlled broadcasting stations in the country. The FederalGovernment was soon to find out why the colonial masters held on tight to broadcasting, there is still the reluctance to allow a full-blown deregulation.
The Government’s response in 1992 to the demand for private participation in the ownership and management of the broadcast media was a great relief. However, five years after the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Decree came into force; the government was not as open as expected in the issuance of licences to applicants.
3.2 Issuance of Licences by NBC
The NBC has screened over 321 applications but only 33 stations have commenced radio, television and satellite transmission nationwide. Satellite television re-distribution takes the highest number with 21 approved licences; the television transmission stations have risen to 10 while the radio licences remain at two.
3.3 Establishing The First Independent Broadcasting
In the early 1990s, because of the historic National Broadcasting Commission Decree, according to Muyiwa Oyinlola (2004), Nigerian media was dominated by the government only. Information was only disseminated from government-owned broadcasting firm. However, the Head of State then, General Ibrahim Babangida issued another decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria.
After this decree came the first private television network, Africa Independent Television (AIT). AIT was pioneered by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi.AIT was also Africa’s first satellite TV station. Today, Dokpesi is regarded as the “media guru of Nigeria.” This is because he not only pioneered the first satellite TV but also the first privately owned radio station in Nigeria. In addition, he set the standard for salary structure in the media industry, which was imitated by Nigeria Television Authority.
What do you understand by “deregulation in the broadcast media?”
3.5 Challenges of Deregulation in Nigeria
The NBC has screened over 321 applications but only 33 stations have commenced radio, television and satellite transmissions nationwide.Satellite television re-distribution takes the highest number with 21 approved licences, the television transmission stations have risen to 10 while the radio licenses multiply.
The greatest problem NBC has is that the applications it is receiving are mostly coming from one part of the country.
Deregulation has introduced competition in the Nigeria broadcasting industry. It has created more jobs for the teeming population of youths in the country. Today, government owned electronic media are striving to keep the pace set by the privately owned stations.
This unit has at least revealed the history of deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria, the issuance of licenses, the establishment of AIT and challenges of deregulation in Nigeria.
6.0 TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT
- Who established the first TV station in Nigeria?
- Mention two problems of deregulation.
- Who issues licenses to private stations?