Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)/ StarTimes Television has begun the digitalisation of 10,000 African villages with the launching of satellite television reception pilot projectâ€Ž and donation of twenty set of decoder to Hulumi village in Abuja.
The Vice President of StarTimes, Ms. Guo Ziqi while speaking at the satellite pilot in Hulumi village said the aim was to translate the situation that only the top class could enjoy and have access to digital TV.
She revealed that StarTimes presently runs its operations in more â€Žthan 30 countries in Sub-Saharan African with almost 10 million subscribers.
Ziqi explained that in Nigeria, StarTimes and NTA started a joint venture seven years ago, stressing that StarTimes has been insisting to leverage local strategies to operate, which has not only helped to boost television industry in Nigeria but also created employment opportunities.
She stated: “President â€ŽXi addressed that China will provide satellite TV reception to 10,000 African villages on the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation, so here we are. As one major channels of getting information from the world, satellite TV is a door to connect villages with outside world.
“After the official launch of this satellite TV project, people will not only enjoy Nigerian indigenous TV programmes, but also watch fantastic programmes from China and other countries in the world,” Ziqi said.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NTA, Yakubu Ibn Muhammed, said NTA/Star TV is currently operating from 80 sites, located in 34 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him, “information they say is power, this power unfortunately is mostly available to people living in urban areas because most service providers concentrate their energy in providing services to areas where they are most likely â€Žto make maximum profit.
To this end, he said NTA/StarTV network has a mission to enable every African family affords digital TV and enjoy its beauty.
He stressed; “We have therefore decided to provide access of digital TV to some relative small communities in Nigeria. NTA/Starâ€Ž network is trying to complement government’s effort by providing access to satellite TV to some small communities across Nigeria.”
Muhammed explained that this involves, “giving 20 sets of direct to home satellite TV decoders, two sets of satellite projector TV receiver complete with solar power supply, a set of 32″ digital TV â€Žintegrated with digital terrestrial as well as digital satellite receiver.”
He revealed that five villages would benefit from this initiative, stressing that it includes; two villages in the FCT, two in Nasarawa state and one in Kwara state.
The DG noted that the federal government was committed to providing this facility to more villages in the near future and “we would also provide maintenance of the facility free of charge for the next one year”.