Nigeria: Amended broadcasting code yielding results – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the amendments made to National Broadcasting Code to reposition the sector has started yielding results.
The minister made this known on Monday in Lagos during an engagement of the Ministerial Task Force on Digital Switch Over (DSO) with relevant stakeholders.
Mohammed disclosed that in adherence to the amended code, he was rightly informed that a big multinational recently cancelled an advertising production slated for South Africa and moved it to Nigeria.
“The result? Practitioners in Nigeria made N10 million from the production, while model fees totalled N5 million.
“This is just the beginning, as we are determined to diligently implement the reforms
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that to stimulate growth and investment in the advertising sector, an amendment was made to broadcasting code regarding production of advertising for local goods and services.
The amended section states, “all television and radio advertisements for airing on all broadcast platforms, pertaining to products and services manufactured, grown, processed, developed, created and originating from Nigeria, shall be wholly produced in Nigeria’’
The minister said the broadcasting code was amended to, among others, boost the local content, curb anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies and boost advertising revenues.
“As many of you will recollect, we have carried out an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry, because we know that there is a nexus between those reforms and the success of the DSO.
“We have amended the Code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of programme content in order to create room for the local industry to grow,’’ he said.
The minister frowned at a situation where pay tv sector of the broadcast Industry in the country had been controlled by foreign interests.
He said indigenous efforts to compete have been frustrated and weakened by the established control of the big monopolies.
“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. This is not acceptable.
“The monopolies exclude many Nigerians from enjoying or having access to premium content, especially in the area of sports and movies.
“With the amendment to the Code, anyone owning any sports rights must make such available to other parties in Nigeria, who may be interested in acquiring these rights.
“This obviously extends the opportunity for TV sports content to indigenous players,’’ he said.
The minister said under the new amendment, for a programme to qualify as local content, it must be authored, directed and produced by a Nigerian.
He added that at least 75 per cent of the leading actors and major supporting cast must be Nigerians.
Mohamme said a minimum of 75 per cent of its programme expenses and 75 per cent of post-production expenses paid for services provided by Nigerians or Nigerian companies.
He said the initiative would develop the skills, expertise and industry of the local content market.
Speaking on DSO, Mohammed said the federal government considered it as one of its priority projects, because of its potential to create jobs and bring governance closer to the people through better access to information.
He said DSO will bring internet to millions of Homes, provide quality programming, especially those produced locally, to Nigeria’s estimated 24 million television households, with high fidelity pictures and sound.
He said they had rolled out the DSO in five states, Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu, Kwara, Osun as well as Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.
“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 29, Kano state on June 3 and Rivers state on July 8.
“We will then follow up with Yobe state on July 15 and Gombe state on Aug. 12.
The minister reiterated that the DSO project is capable of generating one million jobs in three years.
He said as part of efforts to make the DSO proposition viable, he had directed GoTV and StarTimes to stop self-carriage by the end of June 2021.
Mohammed enjoined the stakeholders to support the project to develop the broadcasting sector.

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