The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says the usage of obsolete equipment for broadcasting by FRCN and NTA is unacceptable.
“In this time and age of innovation, technology and digital transformation, using obsolete equipment for broadcasting is unacceptable,” he declared.
Idris spoke after an inspection tour of the transmitter stations of FRCN and NTA at Jaji and Kaita Road respectively, on Friday in Kaduna.
“I am in Kaduna to see for my self the facilities of FRCN and NTA Zonal Offices.
“It is important to note that the FRCN’s transmitter at Jaji was installed over 40 years ago. Some facilities have been there since 1962.
“We cannot go on with this obsolete technology. Technology moves so fast now. So, relying on these pieces of old equipment to broadcast to Nigerians is no longer acceptable.
“So, I will go back to Mr President to tell him what I have seen so that we can
invest massively into our public broadcast facilities.
“We want Nigerians to be enlightened on the workings of government; we want to foster unity among Nigerians.
“We want to also improve agricultural exchange, promote education and entertainment for our people. It is important that we take this kind of tour round the country to see facilities in other parts of the country.
“The newest equipment they have in Jaji were installed around 1980 and 1982. This is not acceptable. Technology is moving very fast and we cannot stay behind. FRCN and NTA cannot stay behind.,” Idris stressed.
He said that there must be a deliberate effort to ensure that the outfits were in tandem with the best of technology around the world.
“I assure Nigerians that the new Ministry of Information and National Orientation has its focus on technology and innovation and, of course, we need to invest money here.
“There should also be the right attitude of those manning these equipment so that we can have the desired change,” Idris said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has restated its commitment to restore the lost glory of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), and Radio Nigeria, Kaduna.
The Minister of Information and National, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, stated this during his address to the staff of the two stations on Friday in Kaduna when he paid a working visit.
According to him, both institutions have fostered Nigeria’s unity, peaceful coexistence, religious harmony, democracy, civic consciousness, industry and agriculture.
They have also boosted national awareness, social mobilisation, enlightenment, among several achievements in post-independent Nigeria.
“I am aware of the human and material challenges of the FRCN, Kaduna, and the NTA, especially poor working tools, outdated infrastructure, poorly motivated workforce, low competitive content, among others.
“My coming here today, in the company of the Directors General of the NTA and FRCN, is to genuinely seek a realistic approach to addressing some of these challenges, which is at the forefront of our priorities.
“We shall explore all the available options to ensure that we restore the lost glory of the NTA and FRCN.
“The case of the FRCN at national and state levels, is even more dire, particularly here at the Radio Nigeria, Kaduna, a once prestigious bastion of information that has produced innumerable broadcast icons.
“Indeed, Radio Nigeria Kaduna needs urgent resuscitation. We will surely act with urgency in this rescue mission.
“President Bola Tinubu carefully appointed all heads of parastatals in the Ministry of Information and National Orientation to help him succeed in this arduous task of rebuilding Nigeria,” he said.
He added that rebuilding the communication outfits and all other tasks would be achieved through Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, which is anchored on eight cardinal missions.
The missions include food security, poverty eradication, growth, job creation, access to capital, inclusion, rule of law and fighting corruption, he stated.
The minister said he is available to explore opportunities that would provide the necessary wherewithal to ensure that NTA and FRCN are equipped with modern technology and quality staff to maximise their potential.
We shall also make welfare a priority so that the workers shall put in their best, he said.
According to him, government will reward hardworking members of staff who toil day and night to inform, educate and entertain the public.
“The government is aware of your invaluable contribution to nation-building amidst great challenges.
“Together, we will not only address the current issues, but also build a foundation for a more robust and technologically advanced future for the NTA and FRCN,” Idris said
Also speaking, the Director-General of FRCN, Dr Mohammed Bulama, said the visit by the minister is a sign of good things to come to the stations.
He said he was not surprised at the level of decay of facilities in FRCN.
“As a patriotic Nigerian, I know that something is fundamentally wrong with NTA, FRCN and others.
“The symbolism of this visit cannot be over-emphasised. God willing, all our stations and facilities will get the attention of the Ministry.”
Similarly, the Director-General of NTA, Malam Salihu Dembos, commended the minister’s insistence on coming over to see things for himself so as to work toward finding solutions to the issues.
BRANDPOWER reports that some workers of the two organisations later narrated their challenges which range from service interruptions, dearth of modern facilities, lack of training, poor welfare, and others.