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University of Lagos, not Federal Poly Ilaro, owns Nigeria’s first campus TV station with a commercial licence

IN SHORT: A Tribune newspaper article claims that Federal Poly Ilaro owns the first campus TV station with a commercial licence in Nigeria. But this is not true as Unilag TV secured its broadcasting licence in 2017 and started airing in 2019.

“ICYMI: The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, has inaugurated a first campus television station with a commercial license for broadcasting in the country,” reads a post on Facebook.

This was posted on the page of the Nigerian Tribune, one of Nigeria’s oldest privately owned newspapers, established in 1949.

The 29 September 2023 post also links to the full article on the newspaper’s website, which adds: “The Rector of the school, Dr. Mukail Akinde, disclosed this on Wednesday, saying the commissioning of the campus television was another giant stride in the history of the institution.”

Federal Poly is an institute of higher learning in Ilaro, a town in the Ogun state, Nigeria.

But is this the country’s first campus TV station with a commercial licence? We checked.


Unilag TV did it first

A commercial TV station sells advertising slots during programming for profit.

A Google search brought up other campus TV stations, with the University of Lagos (Unilag) TV receiving its licence in 2017. This was reported by various media organisations, including here and  here. Unilag TV went live in 2019 and this was also widely covered by the media here, here, here, here and here

Prof Ralph Akinfeleye from Unilag told Africa Check: “The first campus TV station in Nigeria is Unilag TV, owned by the University of Lagos and housed in the Department of Mass Communication, that was granted the licence in 2017. This was followed by BUK. The claim by Federal Poly Ilaro is absolutely not correct.”

BUK is the Bayero University Kano, located in the Kano state of Nigeria.

Dr Theresa Amobi is an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at Unilags. 

Amobi told Africa Check: “This misinformation coming from a reputable newspaper like the Tribune is quite surprising and disappointing as the truth is just a click away. All that the reporter needed to do was to carry out an easy search and he would have found that Unilag TV is the first campus TV station in Nigeria.” 

Unilag, not Federal Poly Ilaro, is the first campus to have a TV station with a commercial licence in Nigeria.

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