How NTA brought back Hauwa, Ruth, Funmi to screen
In celebrating its 40 years anniversary, the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) is bringing back former staff and programmes as part of the fanfare.
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), as part of activities marking its 40th anniversary celebration, is airing some old vintage programmes that were peculiar to the station in the 1980s and 1990s.
Programmes like “Cockcrow at Dawn”, “Village Headmaster”, “Magana Jari ce” and a host of others are back on screen with nostalgia.
The station is also bringing veteran newscasters who were house hold names and had at some point served at the station to read the daily news to commemorate the event.
They include the likes of Hauwa Baba Ahmed [now Hauwa Shuaibu Galma], Ruth Benamaisia-Opia, Funmi Odubekun, among others.
The Director-General of the NTA, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed told Sunday Trust on Sunday recently that celebrating NTA’s 40 years will span for a period of time. He said the celebration which started at the end of last year, is expected to continue till the end of March with more documentaries and interviews with past NTA staff, including the Senior Special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Aliyu Modibbo Umar and others.
While recalling that before NTA came into existence in 1977, he said “we used to have Nigerian Television stations all over the country and the Federal Government thought that it would be better to have all the stations under one umbrella with a central authority. So that central authority was called NTA and it came into existence in the year 1977. That was why the actual celebration started last year but you don’t celebrate 40 years in one day or week so we decided to expand the celebrations and that’s why even now we are still celebrating because it is not easy to mark 40 years of existence.”
He further explained that because NTA is all about television, programming and news, the management decided that the celebrations would depart from the usual way of marking anniversaries and let people know that the organization is 40 years old from what they see on their screens.
The director-general also assured that documentaries and interviews of past staff would be aired and show viewers how far NTA has gone and what NTA has done in the lives of some prominent Nigerians.
“That is why we have brought back old memories, people who have passed through NTA and we have brought back some old vintage programmes. We have also brought back people who have passed through NTA at one point in their lives. For example, the Chief of Air Staff was once a staff of the NTA, the former Minister of the FCT, Aliyu Modibbo Umar, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Mr James Dimka was at NTA College, Jos. So, we consider all these very important people as NTA ambassadors.
According to him, the celebration will be rounded off with a colloquium after the end of this month but before then they would air interviews of veteran journalists. “We have also brought back some on air personalities who made NTA tick in those days, some former people who were newscasters in the 80s and 90s and back through NTA International. “We hosted children of IDPs, we brought them to NTA, had a big party for them, we also made donations to IDP camps,” he said.
The Executive-Director, Programmes, Wole Coker, said the reason why NTA stepped down the fanfare was because the station wanted to show its strength and history to the generation below 35 years and to remind them that at one point in time NTA was the station to go to in homes.
“NTA is a visual medium and we believe that if you are celebrating 40 years we should be able to show our strength and our history, a lot of people today don’t know where we are coming from, especially those below the age 35, so we want to remind them that once upon a time it was only NTA and because of that people run home to watch our indigenous programmes,” he said.
He added that “…We are bringing the casters just to tell people that these are the people that made NTA what it was in the old days. People used to run home to watch the 9’0 clock news and we are bringing those olden newscasters of yester years.”
Director General NTA, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed