Nigeria

NBC licensed 30 local pay TV platforms — only one is working -Lai Mohammed

  Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says it is unacceptable that out of 30 licensed Nigerian pay television companies, only one is curr...

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says it is unacceptable that out of 30 licensed Nigerian pay television companies, only one is currently struggling to break through.

Speaking on Monday at the ministerial task force briefing on Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Lagos, the minister said the ongoing reform in the industry through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will break the monopoly established by foreign pay TV platforms.

Lai said despite the controversies trailing the reforms in the broadcast industry, the government remains undaunted in implementing the DSO project which is capable of generating one million jobs in three years.

He added that he has ordered GoTV and StarTimes — both pay TV platforms — to stop self-carriage by June.

“The federal ministry of information and culture considers the DSO as one of its priority projects, because of its potential to create jobs, bring governance closer to the people through better access to

information, thus deepening democracy, bring internet to millions of homes and also provide quality programming, especially those produced locally, to Nigeria’s estimated 24 million television households, with high fidelity pictures and sound,” the minister said.

“To date, we have rolled out the DSO in five states and Abuja. The programme was launched in Jos, Plateau State, on April 30th, 2016. Since then, we have gone live in the federal capital territory, Kwara state, Kaduna state, Enugu state and Osun state.

“With the recent approval by the federal executive council of outstanding payments to key stakeholders in the DSO project, we are moving rapidly to cover the remaining 31 states. We are kick-starting the new rollout here in Lagos state on April 29th, 2021; Kano state on June 3rd, 2021, and Rivers state on July 8th, 2021. We will then follow up with Yobe state on July 15th, 2021, and Gombe state on August 12th, 2021.

“The manufacturing of set top boxes or decoders alone is capable of creating between 40,000 and 50,000 jobs. TV production can create 200,000 jobs. Film production can generate 350,000 to 400,000 jobs. Distribution, which entails supplying the market with set top boxes,

TVs and dongles for the internet, will require at least 100,000 wholesalers, retailers, electricians, installers, marketers and payment solution providers in order to cover the entire country, while TV and online advertising can create a further 50,000 jobs.

“It will interest you to know that to date, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has licensed over 30 Nigerian pay tv companies, but only one is currently struggling to break through.

“We have amended the code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of

programme content in order to create room for the local industry to grow. Also, as part of efforts to make the DSO proposition viable, I have directed GoTV and StarTimes to stop self-carriage by the end of June 2021.”


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