BY SHAMAN MOMOH
London-based news network owned by Nduka Obaigbena, Arise TV has gone off air. The television channel vanished from airwaves on Thursday, January 14, 2016.
Despite the message under the channel logo stating “Normal service will resume as soon as possible”, reports indicate that there might actually be more to the blackout than mere transmission problems.
According to Independent, Nduka Obaigbena is being pursued over a trail of debts estimated at £3m which includes close to £1m owed to the station’s own workers. Arise TV also owes Associated Press and Reuters, two of the world’s biggest news outfits. Add that to the petition the network is facing from a British TV company, and it is difficult to see a quick way back for Arise.
Broadcasting on Sky channel 519, the network might get its license withdrawn after Ofcom, a broadcast regulator, received fresh calls from several quarters to that effect.
Obaigbena who also saw scores of his workers institute legal action against him due to unpaid salaries running close to a million pounds has attributed his financial crisis to the crash in oil prices and the “restrictions in Nigeria on foreign exchange.” He is said to have sent an email to his staff earlier this month saying, “We will continue to engage with monetary authorities to hasten the necessary remittances required to pay you.”