Wale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Nigeria is building what will be Africaâ€™s biggest and most lucrative Free to Air Television platform, with the ongoing transition from analogue to digital television in the country, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
”With over 24 million TV households, and being the capital of African creativity in Music and Film, I am now more than convinced that we will also become the capital of Television in Africa within the next few years,” the Minister said at the launch of the digital television in Osogbo, Osun State, weekend.
He said everyone, including mobile phone companies, advertisers, content producers, electronic manufacturers, Nollywood and State Government, stands to benefit from the transition.
Mohammed said mobile phone companies should leverage on the set top boxes that give owners access to the free television channels to get data to the 24 million TV households in the country, adding: ”With the boxes we have introduced, your data can be taken into every home in Nigeria for use in consuming video.”
He said the transition will also benefit advertisers, noting: ”We are finally going to be able to bring all those 180 million eyeballs to the doorsteps of your product, with the technology that will make it easier for you to target identified customers and make every Naira you spend on advertising worth its while.”
The Minister said content producers will no longer pay to get their content aired, but will instead be paid, thanks to myriad of channels and a well-managed Audience Measurement System.
He urged Electronics Manufacturers to, through the massive sale of television sets, decoders and dongles provide jobs for Nigerians and become exporters of the appliances to the rest of Africa.
â€œTo Nollywood, your movies can now be sold directly to all homes in Nigeria without the need of a VCD, DVD or even the Internet, using the DSO platform to market and sell films,â€ Mohammed said, while also advising state governments to take advantage of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) platform to engage residents, disseminate information and for job creation in both the production and distribution sectors.
With the DSO launch in Osogbo, Osun State, digital television has now been rolled out in five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The DSO was formally launched in Jos, Plateau State, in April 2016, followed by the FCT, Kwara, Kaduna and Enugu States.