The Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Yakubu Mohammed, on Tuesday, decried the condition of the state-owned television station.
Mr Mohammed blamed the federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the state of NTA by requesting free services thereby putting the station in a delicate financial position.
He spoke during the 2022 budget defence session organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, in Abuja.
According to Mr Mohammed, MDAs use the name of the Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to secure free media coverage from NTA, while also lamenting the poor funding of the organisation.
He noted that NTA could be self-sufficient if MDAs stopped requesting free services from the organisation.
Mr Mohammed listed the problems of the organisation as “inadequate funding, completion of NTA permanent site which is ongoing, dilapidated buildings and equipment all over the country.”
“Everybody thinks that NTA is a government establishment — it belongs to all of us. So we go to NTA, get the services offered by NTA for free. I did mention that our services attract a cost.
“What ministries, agencies and parastatals of government do is that they invite the minister (Lai Mohammed) to be guest of honour at an event because they know once the minister is there, NTA must cover. So these are the kind of things that prevent us from making money.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Segun Odebunmi (APC, Oyo) failed to comment on the allegations made by the DG.
He merely asked the organisation to do more in terms of internally generated revenue and that there was a need to block loopholes.
“You generate your IGR across the nation, the mechanism you are using in remitting the money is maybe……..I still believe you can do more outside all these challenges and services rendered to the nation,” he said.
Mr Odebunmi also said the committee will pay an oversight visit to NTA to examine the state of the infrastructure there.
The standing committees of the House are currently scrutinising the budgets of all the MDAs.