The Nigerian Television Authority came into being in May 1977 through Decree 24 of 1977 which had retroactive effect from April, 1976. By the Decree, all existing 12 regional television Stations established in the country between October 1959 and 1974 came under the Umbrella of the NTA which became the only body empowered to take TV Broadcasting in Nigeria.
In 1976, Television and indeed Plateau State TV metamorphosed from black and white to colour. Funding of the Stations became a responsibility of the Federal Government and networking of News commenced via Domestic Satellite from April 1976. NTA has maintained a systematic growth through the years from 12 Stations at inception in 1977. NTA as of today, boasts of about 100 stations, with presence in every State Capital and all Senatorial districts.
The NTA is a parastatal in the Federal Ministry of Information. It was established by the Nigerian Television Act Cap 24 of 1976. It is the National Television Broadcasting Network for Nigeria, expressly mandated to provide as a public service in the interest of Nigeria, independent and impartial television broadcasting for general reception within Nigeria. But following amendments and modifications of the enabling Act by Government, the public service (non profit) activity of the NTA has sustained corresponding modifications.
In the first instance, its exclusive right for television broadcasting in Nigeria was revoked.
Secondly, the mandate to operate as a non-profit public service entity was partially revoked. It is now a Public Service partly funded by Government, partially commercialized but operates strictly within the enabling public service guidelines, the Broadcasting code and civil service structure.
Thirdly, the broadcasting mandate of the NTA has been expanded from only broadcasting to Nigeria to broadcasting to Nigeria and the world at large.
To be a world class television network.
To provide excellent television service world-wide and project the true African perspective.
The new vision of the NTA will reposition and strengthen the Authority through the 21st Century Television Broadcasting, dictating a new pace and direction, new expectation and reach.
The new mission statement in the same vein, captures and summarizes the real essence of the former mission literature, to present in one wholesome sentence, the new direction.
CORE VALUES OF THE NTA
Professionalism, accuracy, credibility, impartiality, balance and objectivity, social responsibility, sensitivity, national interest, commitment to world peace and development.
The Director General is the Chief Executive Officer.
He is assisted by a team of Executive Directors who are heads of the News, Programmes, Engineering, Finance and Admin, Marketing, Training and Capacity Building and Special Duties Directorates.
The Director General and the Executive Directors constitute the Board of Management charged with the day to day running of the Authority. They are also members of the Board of Directors which is composed of a part-time Chairman and seven members.
NATIONAL SPREAD AND EXPANSION
As at the last count, NTA has 101 Stations spread across Nigeria making it the largest Television Network in Africa. Currently, there are 10 operational network centres. These centres generate and uplink network programmes for the network service. They are NTA Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Enugu, Sokoto, Benin, Port Harcourt, Makurdi, Jos and Maiduguri. Each Network Centre is headed by a zonal Director who oversees all stations within his/her zone.
In 2010, NTA entered a partnership with Startimes International in the area of Terrestrial Digital Transmission to fast track the graduation to Digital Broadcasting ahead of the 2015 global deadline given by the International Telecommunications union for all Television transmission in the world to digitize.
The partnership is also for the purpose of increasing the revenue base of the Authority. There are currently NTA News 24, NTA Sports 24, NTA Knowledge, NTA Hausa, NTA Igbo, NTA Yoruba and NTA Entertainment on the NTA/Startimes bouquets.
NTA/Startimes is a subscription-pay TV that uses a decoder for access to its signal.(For full details of the structure of the NTA, see “This is NTA” – a publication of the Corporate Affairs Department).
The core mandates of the NTA are News and Programmes. These mandates are discharged by the operations of the Directorates of News, Programmes and Engineering and the newly established Multi-channels.