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Omole at NTA… One year after

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DIRECTOR General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Olusola Adesina Omole has just clocked one year in office having been appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan on February 7, 2014. On assumption of office, Omole, a distinguished communication and public relations expert, whose experience and training spanned not only media and communication but also management cadre, assured the authority and indeed teaming Nigerians viewers of his readiness to make a glaring impact.

  He boasted of an enhanced television station that would be properly positioned to give effective coverage of Nigerian people and events to the world. Not just that, he pledged to project Nigeria’s contributions to the global economy through articulated programmes.

  The D.G, who had earlier served at NTA between 1980 and 1985, believed that projecting Nigeria’s image beyond the shores of the country, as a responsible nation, cannot be undermined, especially at challenging times like these.

  He added then that image management was critical for the development of any establishment and country. According to him, Nigeria should be properly packaged and presented in good light to the global community. One of the ways of doing this, he admonished, would be to focus on the positive aspects of the country, rather than highlight issues and activities that debase it.

  “We should not be harping on the negative happenings in society because there are so many things to celebrate about Nigeria. In all that we do, the development of Nigeria should be the focus through positive management of information”, he had said.

  In spite of his high hopes, many Nigerians, especially those who had had the privilege of serving at various capacities at NTA, expressed concern that Omole was inheriting an NTA that was beset with numerous challenges. Some of these challenges, they listed, included proliferation of stations, poor audio-visual programmes, shortage of work tools as well as general apathy of members of staff.

  In fact, they canvassed the need for Omole to embark on aggressive shake-up if he were to achieve desired results. While wishing him success on his endeavours, they advised that as a professional in the industry, Nigeria would be waiting and watching to see how much impact his tenure would have on NTA.

  One year after, many believed that Omole is on course towards actualizing his original objective. Although he declined an interview with The Guardian over his achievement in the last year, some of his colleagues attested to the fact that he had brought unprecedented innovations to bear on the station. 

They rated their boss highly, describing him as a man, whose commitment to achieving success could not be compromised. Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr. Joseph Etuk, said: “He is a perfectionist who stops at nothing to achieve result. He is a man who wants to see everything in order. He is committed to achieving excellence”. 

  Another managerial staff described him as an amiable person, a welfarist and a boss with the interest of staff at heart.

  “He dreams of a world standard NTA. As former newscaster, Omole does not go home until after Network News. If there is any mistake, he is behind the newscaster. He always wants the best for them. In fact, our DG believes in professionalism, entrepreneurship and leadership by example. These are his core values”, said a senior female staff of NTA.

  In a bid to deliver quality services to the station’s teaming audiences both within and out side the country, the DG, shortly after his appointment, championed the unveiling of eight new channels (which were later upgraded to 18).

THE event, which took place in Lagos, witnessed the gathering of top management staff, advertisers and personalities in the marketing communication industry. Omole had described the development as a milestone, and geared towards ushering in opportunities for the station and advertisers. 

  According to him, the introduction of new channels and programmes was in line with the network’s desire to meet the expectations of their various target audience in terms of variety of languages, information and programmes. He added that NTA remained committed to providing services and programmes that will not only entertain and educate the people but also inform them.

  On the challenges and the prospects of the network, Omole said his team was working hard to bridge the skill gap through numerous training programmes that have been outlined for the benefits of its workforce.

  He noted that the technical challenge being faced by the station would soon become a thing of the past as the Federal Government was trying its best to ensure that all necessary equipment were upgraded to meet international standard.

According to him, challenges facing NTA were not insurmountable given the support he was receiving from both the government and the staff of the various stations.

  On NTA’s readiness to meet the deadline for transiting from analogue to digital operations, Omole had said then that his team was working round the clock to boost its engineering department in all its network stations.

  He added that partnership with Startimes has remained crucial in ensuring smooth transition. In fact, Omole was confident that NTA would meet the deadline.

  To match his words with action, NTA major studios have been upgraded with modern technological equipment in readiness for the June 17 transition. The brand new digitalized studio, procurement of additional cameras, multi-colour studio lights and the presence of huge television screens in the studio, were indications that all was set for the digital network.

  According to a studio engineer, who pleaded anonymity, the necessary machines would be delivered soon to the waiting arms of installation team that has been on ground, adding, “Once the machines are delivered, these men here would embark on the installation process. Every other thing is ready waiting for the hand-over date”.

  Other innovations by Omole include the change of ‘The Breakfast Show’ to ‘Good Morning Nigeria’. The change in the name of the magazine was to align it with the expansion of the scope of the programme. Others are efforts at completing abandoned projects within and outside the headquarters, refurbishment of office blocks without financial implications on the government as well as introduction of fresh approach to revenue generation. 

  One other area the DG has introduced innovation is in the dress pattern of newscasters. Recently, the culture of appearing in traditional attire by newscasters was modified. Newscasters now have the option of appearing in corporate wears like their colleagues in other broadcast outfits. Many have applauded Omole’s initiative in this direction, describing it as part as well as process of digitalization.

To address the problem of apathy, Omole encourages reward for excellence. Example of this gesture was the recent recognition of the editor of the popular TV Guide, Mr. Jenson Okereke, who was rewarded for hard work and commitment to duty.

  Aside these achievements, it was gathered that Omole would overhaul NTA to the admiration of its viewers. As they congratulated him on his one year of promises delivered, they were optimistic that if the feat achieved so far is sustained throughout his years in office, Omole would, no doubt, leave behind an NTA that is robust in programming, where professionalism meets modern equipment for quality output, where objectivity in reportage defies media ownership and that NTA truly becomes the broadcast pride of Nigeria and Africa.

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