Digital Migration: FG Reassures Nigeria on June 2017 Deadline


By Raheem Akingbolu

The federal government has said it has the political will to meet the June 2017 deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Speaking at the International Summit on Advertising in Nigeria held recently in Lagos, the Minister of Information & Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed affirmed the commitment and determination of the federal government to ensure that Nigeria complies with the International Telecommunictions Union (ITU) decision on the digitisation of broadcasting.

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) organised the summit in collaboration with BSP Media International sponsored by Beer Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Supporting organisations include The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria.

The minister remarked that one of the biggest challenges of the current administration is to create employment to a large number of youths in the country. He urged the summit to adopt a template for more responsible communication and come out with actionable outcomes which can inspire policies that are beneficial to the people, assuring that the federal government will partner stakeholders to ensure a speedy implementation of the Summit’s recommendations.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué issued and signed by all the head of sectoral bodies, it was noted that the participants identified the growing importance of digital as the platform of choice for advertising as well as the impact of technology and changes in consumer behaviour in transforming the global advertising industry.

The summit also identified the key role of the Internet in the future of advertising and that the industry is moving into a future of fragmentation, disruption, and highly disruptive campaigns.

Participants also observed the interdependence of broadcast media and advertising for survival as well as the need for stronger alignment between APCON and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission.

They also observed, the necessity of enhanced capacity of regulators given changes in the advertising ecosystem. In addition, they noted that video downloads would continue to increase and dominate to the tune of 82% of all downloads by 2020.

To this end, they said there is need for agencies to evolve into gatekeepers for knowledge of client brands with the ability to integrate all the competencies necessary to enable clients to win.

In their recommendation after the summit, they stressed the need for increasing self-regulation by professionals in all areas of the advertising value chain. They also call for better monitoring and measurement as a basis for regulation of advertising.

To stand tall globally, professionals in advertising were charged to commit to the highest level of compliance with the advertising and broadcasting codes.

For effective operation, the body urged government to empower and enhance capacity in the Monitoring Unit of APCON regarding personnel, technology, among others, to enable it function effectively in the changing communication ecosystem.