Nigeria eyes $1b yearly from analogue switch off

Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed
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The successfull transition of Nigeria’s broadcast from analogue to digital broadcasting will fetch the country over $1billion (about N450billion) yearly, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said.

The minister who spoke yesterday in Abuja while declaring open the 11th Biennial Conference of Africa Broadcasters (Africast), said the opportunities of digitisation are almost limitless as it will also help create jobs for the youths.

He said in addition to increased revenue, digital broadcasting would also raise the number of the current 450 TV stations in the country.

He said: “The digitisation of broadcasting offers Nigeria a lot of opportunities; the benefits are multifaceted and very far-reaching – in the areas of economics, politics, education, entertainment, science and technology and several others.

“Many have said that the impact of digitisation on television will be revolutionary and I cannot agree less.’’

He said the industry has witnessed massive growth since the 1992 deregulation of broadcasting in the country which allowed private sector to move in.

The minister reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to meeting the new deadline of June 2017 for the country to transit from analogue to digital broadcasting.

According to Mohammed, the transition will open the window for free TV service with up to 30 channels laden with sports, news, documentaries and other programmes.

He said the transition would help to curb piracy and encourage a free press and open democracy underpinned by local content channels, among other advantages.

The minister urged regulators of broadcasting in Africa to embrace digital technology and platforms for diverse content, adding that they should also use the media to serve the people in terms of security, economic well-being and technological advancement.

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Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Sen. Suleiman Adokwe, commended the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for hosting the forum.

He pledged the support of the National Assembly towards achieving the June 2017 deadline for transition to digital broadcasting.

Africast is a platform for stakeholders in Africa’s broadcasting to converge and exchange ideas on content creation and explore the possibilities offered by the new and emerging technology.

With: Digital Terrestial Broadcasting: Financing Quality Content, as its theme, it is being attended by stakeholders from Africa, America and Europe.

Source: The Nation 

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