History and Owner of AIT (African Independent Television).

History and owner of AIT (African Independent Television) is the confluence of two richly flowing rivers which are capable of capturing our interests in not only about the first private television station in the history of Nigerian broadcasting establishments but also about one of Nigeria’s most popularly active CEOs, philanthropists and elites.

Here are things you need to know about the history of AIT and its owner:

History of AIT (African Independent Television)

History and owner of AIT started when the Head of State then, General Ibrahim Babangida, issued a decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. It was after this decree that the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa Independent Television was pioneered by Dokpesi, and was also Africa’s first satellite Television station.

Africa Independent Television, also known by its acronym AIT, is a privately owned television broadcasting station in Nigeria. It operates Free To Air in Nigeria as the largest privately operated terrestrial television network with stations in twenty-four out of thirty-six states in Nigeria.

AIT is also broadcast via satellite television from its operational headquarters in Abuja. AIT is a subsidiary of Daar Communications plc, available throughout Africa, and via Dish Network to North America.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it was available on Sky channel 454 as a free-to-air channel (originally a subscription channel until 1 August 2016). An additional channel called AIT Movistar, formerly on Sky channel 330, ceased broadcasting on 28 July 2009. AIT International ceased broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 15 October 2019.


The broadcasting license of the television station was suspended indefinitely by the National Broadcasting Commission on 6 June 2019 on the grounds of its alleged failure to pay license fees and use of inciting contents from social media.


A Federal High Court in Abuja however ordered the reopening of the television station on 7 June 2019.

Life Background of AIT CEO, Raymond A. Dokpesi

CEO of AIT Raymond Dokpesi

Raymond Dokpesi

Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi was born on 25 October 1951 in Ibadan. He is a Nigerian media entrepreneur. He began his early schooling with Loyola College Ibadan. After which he joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin city where he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Play house, a dance/drama group. He did his undergraduate studies in the University of Benin Edo State and completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering. His studies, from secondary school to university level was sponsored by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Today Dokpesi, owner of AIT, is regarded as the media guru of Nigeria. Some also refer to him as the Ted Turner of Nigeria. Dokpesi not only pioneered the first satellite TV but also the first privately owned radio station in Nigeria. According to the journalist Kolapo (2006), Raymond claims that AIT set the standard for salary structure in the media industry in which Nigerian Television Authority imitated.

Owner of AIT, Dokpesi also has his hands in politics. Dokpesi has received awards to his credit on behalf of DAAR Communications Plc, and has been conferred with titles from his hometown in appreciation of his tremendous efforts towards Nigeria. His hometown conferred two chieftaincy titles upon him, both of which are only bestowed on worthy sons. He is the Oghieumua and Ezomo of Weppa Wanno, Edo State, as well as the Araba of Osoroland, Okpe. According to Ojewale (2004), as mentioned during the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award ceremony in Accra, and the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice Geneva Switzerland, Dokpesi was praised for Daar communications rise to the top in Africa and contributions of Radio and Television station that has placed Nigeria on the world map

Raymond Dokpesi has built schools for community and also offered scholarships to prospective students into tertiary institutions.

In 2020, Dokpesi and members of his family were hospitalized at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. Dokpesi and two of his grandchildren were discharged on May 14, 2020 after they all tested negative for remains of COVID-19.

In conclusion, history and owner of AIT are vital pieces of information worthy of knowledge.

Leave a Reply