Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday stated that, the federal government had finalised plans to grow the television advertising market by $200 million per annum through audience measurement.
He said that would be done through the development of digital economy and N100 billion per annum free TV distribution network for Nollywood would be created.
Buhari disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital at the launch of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)â€™s digital switch over held at the premises of the NTA, Ilorin, Fate road, Ilorin, the state capital.
Represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the president said â€œwe have watched our beloved Nollywood move from VHS tapes to VCD to DVD, whereas the whole world has moved to digital consumption of content with its attendant benefits and democratisation of distribution, we have been constrained by limited penetration of internet in our homesâ€.
He said: â€œWith the middleware in our set top boxes, homes will be able to buy and watch the latest Nollywood movies without the need for internet. Imagine a film released on Monday morning being immediately available to all the households in Kwara at the touch of a button. That’s the kind of experience we are talking about.â€
He added: â€œIn the meantime, there are a number of initiatives that we will be focusing on in order to achieve a credible and effective development of the digital economy. I will mention some of these initiatives are the consumer proposition that is all-encompassing which most Nigerians, and definitely majority of the people of Kwara, have never had access to; creating tens of thousands of jobs through technical and manufacturing opportunitiesâ€.
He noted: â€Set top box assembling and ultimately manufacturing is an irreversible mandate by the government to the industry. We expect this to extend very quickly to local smart TV and tablet manufacturing. With our strong consumer base, we can quickly become the supplier of these equipment to the whole of West Africaâ€.
He stressed: â€œI am talking here of 30 digital channels and counting. Television is all about content and we are going to ensure that more emphasis is placed on this critical component of the industry.
â€œOf course the electronic programme guide (EPG) will also be a platform for App developers to create products that will make life easier for the home consumers, thereby creating and promoting an industry of developers that will operate in both the Television and Telecoms industries. For the people of Kwara, we welcome the publishers of Apps to start looking for how to make living easier and commerce easier.â€
According to him, â€œThe launch of the digital switch over (DSO) here in Ilorin, Kwara state, puts us back on track in our digitisation efforts. As you would recollect, it’s now one year since our last DSO launch in Abuja.
â€œLet me assure you all that we will not wait for another year before our next rollout. In fact, the next launch will be barely 48 hours from now, in Kaduna. We will then follow up rapidly to extend this digital television experience to all the six geo-political zones, and then across the entire country.â€