I have been reading comments of people asking how funds
from the NSA’s office could be paid to Daar Communications. The sanctimonious
comments are at their hypocritical best most times.
The logic of this is very simple. The last government was
a PDP Government. The Former NSA was an appointee of a PDP President and by
inference a PDP member. In the discharge of his duties, political patronage to
PDP stalwarts would be permissible.
That is perfectly normal in our society. I can bet that
even in the present APC government, contracts being given or being primed to be
given out have APC stalwarts at the top most list for consideration. Or did you
think those who worked for their party to get to power at the centre would be
left in the lurch?
It’s never done and won’t start today in Nigeria.
I sat down a bit and tried to work out rational
justification to Chief Dokpesi’s statement that he was paid those sums for
publicity for the government and I wasn’t really surprised by my conclusions.
I am in the media business and I have consulted and still
engage in media buying for clients and companies as part of my media business.
What people don’t know is that Nigerian television stations have some of the
most expensive air time rates in the world.
AIT’s rates are very expensive. Depending on the slot and
time of airing, a one minute ad on AIT network is over N300, 000. If it’s a
government or political party ad (especially during the elections) it would be
higher. During the elections, political parties blocked booked ads all day for
three months or more before the elections on AIT, especially PDP and many
support groups. Let’s assume that there were 30 ads a day on AIT for PDP at
400k. That’s N12 million a day. Multiply by 120 days and you have 1.4 billion
already. Let’s not even talk about the radio ads too on Ray power stations from
PDP which is also part of the Daar Group.
Then, another thing people don’t know. Those rallies and
campaigns which were covered live for weeks. Do you know how much each live
coverage cost? AIT charges about N15m or N20m  for 3 hours live coverage
(which includes displacement fees because each live coverage disrupts already
scheduled paid programmes). And there were over 40 live coverages of the
Presidential campaign of PDP alone! In all the 36 states and the 6
geo-political zones. Do the maths.
Broadcasting is an expensive business to run. I’m in the
business and I know how it works. All television and radio stations in Nigeria
made bumper sales during the elections. It happens every four years. This year
was unprecedented because of the stakes by the political parties.
For the records, I don’t know Chief Dokpesi personally
and have only met him not more than five times in different public fora. But I
appreciate that he has built an institution in broadcasting with AIT and
Raypower and has supported my immediate constituency, the entertainment sector,
all through the years through his station. That kind of support can never be
forgotten.
And so, as he goes through the present travails, he has
my best wishes. I am not a PDP member, mind. But this is not about politics for
me. This is about giving a hug to a man who contributed to my industry.
I am sure he’s very capable of defending himself and he
will too.
God will keep us all alive to see the end of this.