Posted by Transport & Business Express | 20 July 2012 | 8,581 times
Details have emerged of how wrong business model and poor management hastened the death of NN24, the satellite TV station touted as Nigeria or Africa’s answer to America’s CNN.
One of the experts involved in the project from the early stages told Transport & Business Express that there was no way NN24 would have survived because the promoter, UK-based Tony Dara, adopted a wrong business model.
“Tony made several huge mistakes,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Transport & Business Express. “He raised funds based on one document which stated that there was a company guaranteeing $4 million (about N620 million) a year in advertising revenues and consistently for three years, amounting to guaranteed $12m (about N1.86 billion) for the station’s first three years of operation.”
Describing the business model as a fraud, the source said: “This was a ridiculous lie and Tony should be prosecuted for fraud. He should be arrested by Nigerian officials because once NN24 was launched we were surprised to discover that the company which allegedly guaranteed the adverts never had any intention of giving any such huge volume of adverts to NN24.”
The source further disclosed that “Tony was warned about the advert revenue guarantee document but he turned nasty to anyone who offered advice he did not agree with.”
The source also accused the NN24 CEO of compounding the company’s problems through frivolous expenditure.
“As far as I know, he has flown to Nigeria from London about twice a month for the past few years and has spent company funds on luxuries for himself,” the source stated.
In his reaction, Dara, who said he prefers not to respond to allegations concerning the travails of NN24, said in an e-mail to a friend for whom he has much respect: “I’m not given to responding to issues like this. I will respond only because you contacted me. The story is being peddled by an aggrieved staff.”
It would be recalled that Transport & Business Express four days ago broke the story of NN24’s closure after merely two years of operation. Launched amid fanfare in May 2010 on DSTv as Nigeria’s first 24-hour news channel, NN24 cut down transmission to 13 hours in just about a year of operation. By then the staff were owed eight months salary, which was never paid as at the time its office in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, was padlocked last month.
Photo: NN24 Founder/CEO, Tony Dara
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