The Ondo State government has shut down the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.
The media station was closed down over the weekend following public outcry over the station's ineffectiveness and redundancy.
The broadcast media station, located at Orita Obele along Ijare Road, is the only state-owned television station that propagates the daily activities of the state government.
The television station’s programs were watched by viewers both within and outside the main city of Akure.
The station is one of the sources that help connect the people of the state to the government and its daily activities and programs.
“Most of the government’s daily activities are being televised on the station and it also helps connect the people with their representatives even at the grassroots,” an Ondo State local said.
Our correspondent gathered that since Governor Rotimi Akeredolu assumed office, the station had been broadcasting fewer programs.
It was later learned that broadcast operations in the station had been shut down for more than three months since the establishment of a committee to look into the activities of the corporation.
The five-man committee was headed by Kunle Adebayo as its chairman and Tubosun Isijola as its secretary. Soji Alakuro, Iretiola Ojekhoa and Steve Alabi all served as members of the committee.
The committee members were saddled with the responsibility of investigating ways to reposition the state-owned media station for effective performance.
Committee members submitted their report to the governor last week, but did not make their findings known to the public.
Several sources told our correspondent on Sunday that the state-owned media declined in quality during the last administration.
"There were times when pictures on the station looked blurry and the audio coming from the presentations on air would just fiddle away. So, I think one of the things the station lacked was modern day broadcasting equipment.
"Even worse, some offices and studios of the station are archaic and dilapidated in nature. If you had the opportunity of visiting the media station before it was shut down, what you would see there was just window dressing to avoid public criticism," one of the sources said.
On Saturday, Mr. Akeredolu ordered the official cessation of activities at the media station through a terse letter issued from the government office.
The letter was signed by the State Head of Service (HOS), Toyin Akinkoutu, and obtained by our correspondent in Akure.
In his letter, Mr. Akinkoutu said that the station was closed down as part of the ongoing overhaul of the corporation in an effort to comply with the best global practices.
"As part of the ongoing repositioning of the OSRC for better service delivery, the [state] government has approved the procurement of standard modern digital equipment, extensive facility rehabilitation, general overhaul as well as strengthening the capacity to compete effectively with its peers nationally, while also getting the station ready for global digital switchover compliance.
"In this way, the government has directed a temporary closure of the station with immediate effect. While the reform process and physical rehabilitation are ongoing, all staff of the corporation are requested to report at the Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium, Ministry of Women Affairs, Igbatoro Road, Akure on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 10.00 a.m. for further briefing," it read.
A source who spoke on Sunday night told our correspondent that there are plans to redeploy some staff of the media station.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the state government has prepared the list of names of those who will be redeployed.
“I am sure you must have been aware that there is going be a meeting on Monday where issues bordering on the station will be discussed among workers. The issue will also border on the efforts of the state government at ensuring the media station is revive and made back to its feet in the broadcasting system.
"Also, some staff of the station have been penned for a redeployment while some of them who were moved out by the last administration to other ministries who have to return back to the station. I am aware the station is also planning to secretly inject new blood into the system in order to meet up with global practices in the areas of broadcasting," the source said.
SaharaReporters’ ongoing investigation into the state-owned media station has revealed that several resources budgeted to upgrade the station were mismanaged.
Our reporters following the situation in the station have reported how the new managers put in place by Mr. Akeredolu to temporarily take care of the station have been "politically victimizing" some staff who allegedly worked for the last government.
Facts have also emerged how the new managers of the station were bribed to remain silent on some important issues raised during the committee screening that could improve the broadcast station.