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Rebirth Of Delta Media Outfits
By Nelson Egware
They were all gasping for breath. Hopes of survival were forlorn and nondescript. But, a sudden lifeline came their way when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the man with the Midas touch, looked their way.
Acquiesced with the presentation on facility re-engineering for the state government’s media outfits by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, a fanatical apostle of Okowa’s sublime “development religion” in the state, the governor wholeheartedly endorsed it and mobilised Aniagwu for new faces for the media organs.
Buoyed by the governor’s approval, Aniagwu, pronto, began the turnaround of the lacklustre media houses under his superintendence – Delta Broadcasting Service, Asaba; Delta Broadcasting Service, Warri and Delta Printing and Publishing Company (Publishers of The Pointer Newspapers).
Before Aniagwu mounted the saddle as commissioner, the state of the government’s media outfits was sordid. They were plagued by a myriad of challenges ranging from poor state of infrastructure, epileptic transmission, poor signals and low picture quality, lack of operational vehicles, low morale among staff, poor public image, power supply issues and such other operational hiccups too numerous to mention.
The state government moved in, and a visit to the broadcast stations today bears testimony of conscientious and audacious transformation, indicating a new dawn. Similarly, a new awakening typified by significant tangible changes registers prominently at The Pointer Newspapers House. Sample is a well-air-conditioned expansive newsroom fitted with computers on all the desks. This is a feat as the automation of the newspaper’s operation is alien to that “community”.
A sufficiently amazed General Manager of The Pointer, Mr Monday Uwagwu, said the breath-taking innovations in the newspaper house by the Okowa administration, represented by Aniagwu is marvellous – ultra-modern newsroom; ultra-modern new office complex; new circulation vehicles; new computer units; two new 6.5KVA generators, new split air-conditioning units and equipping of the old newsroom.
Other new features include new furniture for the production unit, desktops for production unit; building/equipping of an ultra-modern staff canteen, interlocking of company’s premises; reintroduction of staff allowance regime creation/operationalization of monitoring and circulation unit and restructuring of security and reception posts.
At the Delta Broadcasting Service Asaba and Ubulu-Uku stations, a new double 10kw transmitter is earmarked with other equipment required to improve the station’s signals across the State and the South-South region.
The state government has also approved the upgrading of Delta Broadcasting Service in Warri. Transmitters and other tools would be provided for the Asaba station and Ubulu-Uku sub-station to enhance the strength of the signals.
Aniagwu recently told journalists: “The good one for me is that Exco approved the upgrade of the Delta Broadcasting Service. So, in the next six months, we will, as much as possible, provide them with transmitters that would be able to cover the entire state.”
A visit to the station shows that work has started towards improving the signals and picture quality of the station and in a few months’ time, Deltans and people of the South South would be able to watch Delta Television through terrestrial transmission and Startimes.
Also speaking on Aniagwu’s giant strides in the transformation of DBS Asaba, General Manager of the station, Mr. Frankwhyte Osabohien said that the narrative has changed for the station.
“Today, transmission on both platforms is uninterrupted. The IPP project executed by government in the state capital is supplying power to the broadcasting outfit in addition to the purchase of several broadcast equipment like FM studio Audio Mixer Console, FM Dummy Load, Audio Processors Tone Signal Generator, Professional Studio Microphones, Studio Audio Monitor, Mast/ TV/Studio Earthing System, Mast Aviation Lighting System and TV Transmitter Amplifiers. A 20kw Radio Transmitter was reconditioned while UPS batteries were also purchased to hold power in critical areas of operation in the event of a power outage.
“Besides, several broadcast equipment were purchased to enhance effective service delivery in terms of dissemination of information.
“In all, the desire of the government is to link the Warri station via Ubulu-Uku with a view to ensuring that all parts of Delta State receive signals emanating from Delta Broadcasting Service simultaneously. To achieve this, the government has placed orders for the manufacture of transmitters to facilitate the attainment of set goals.
“Work is in progress at the Ubulu-Uku booster station and it is hoped that before long, Deltans no matter where they reside within the State, will get voice of Delta 97.9 FM, and Delta Television.
“Suffice to state with certainty that the appointment of Mr Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu is a blessing to Delta Broadcasting Service, Asaba. For instance, apart from insisting on professionalism, he has restored hope and changed the public perception about the state owned broadcast outfit.
“He has also tackled the poor state of the environment of the broadcast outfit. The result is that the DBS Asaba narrative has changed and it is getting better by the day,” Osabohien said.
General Manager, DBS Warri, Mr. Malcom Oteri said the station got a 150 KVA generator and repair of UPS from the state government. He said that with the support of Aniagwu, the station also purchased operational vehicles through the station’s internally generated revenue.
Speaking recently with some editors in his office in Asaba, Aniagwu said he has also secured the approval of the state governor to recruit some workers to fill existing vacancies in the media outfits.
Aniagwu also said that priority would be given to the qualified casual workers in the media outfits, who have worked for up to ten years and above. According to him, after regularisation of these categories of workers, if there are still vacancies available we will seek another approval to recruit from the general public. He warned that the recruitment exercise will be strictly based on merit and not on the basis of any political consideration.
Aniagwu remains optimistic that before the end of the Okowa administration, Deltans would be bequeathed with the best media outfits in South-South Nigeria.
•Egware is a Senior Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State