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Did You Know? NTA Jos Was The First TV Station In West Africa To Broadcast In Colour

The first terrestrial television broadcast in Africa was from Ibadan (now NTA Ibadan) in 1959, in the present day Oyo state.

TV stations began to spring up soon after in various locations, but they all broadcast in black and white until Benue/Plateau Television (BPTV) Jos, now NTA Jos, took television one notch higher with its first broadcast in 1974 – in full color.

History of Television in Nigeria

The first TV station in Africa was the Western Nigerian Television (WNTV) founded by the Western Nigerian regional government, under Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It was situated in Ibadan, and transmitted for the first time on the 31st of October 1959, just one year before Nigeria’s independence.

This was followed by the Eastern Nigerian Television (ENTV) in 1960, and the Radio Television Kaduna (RTK) in 1962, each serving as regional television broadcasting stations for the West, East, and Northern Nigeria respectively. Later came the Nigerian Television Services (NTS), Lagos, and Midwest Television (MTS). However, the establishment of the Benue/Plateau Television (BPTV) Jos, made history in 1974 for being the first TV station in West Africa to commence broadcasting in colour.


In 1976 after the military took over the government, it also took over all existing radio and television stations. The Nigerian Television Authority, as it is today known, came into existence in May of the next year by a decree the military government. It formed all the TV stations into one big TV network administered from Lagos, as the authentic voice of the Nigerian government.

At the moment, there is at least one NTA station in each of the 36 state capitals and some major cities, with two – NTA Abuja and NTA Plus Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory. Some of the oldest television stations in Ibadan, Jos, Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos, Benin, Makurdi, Maiduguri and Sokoto were then made NTA network centers.

Television broadcasting continued to be exclusive to the Nigerian Television Authority (with exception of LTV established in 1980 and owned by the Lagos state government), which held the monopoly until the early 90s when licenses were first issued for private TV. Then came independent channels like Galaxy TV (1994), Channels TV (1995), DBN (1995), Minaj Broadcasting International and more.

The next time you watch TV in colour, remember NTA Jos did it first in this part of the world!





Featured image source: NTA Network Centre Jos

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Akwaowo Willie

Akwaowo Willie is a social media consultant for several businesses including SMEs and Startups. He is also an entrepreneur and writer with interests in entertainment, media, fashion, among others. He is married, with 2 adorable children.

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