The Nigerian Government can potentially raise a digital dividend of $1 billion from the sale of spectrum when the Digital Switch Over is completed.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji lai Mohammed says such funds will then be utilized to ensure that the whole Digital broadcasting programme is self-funding.
Alhaji Mohammed was speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 11th edition of Biennial Conference of Africa Broadcasters popularly known as AFRICAST.
He advised regulators of broadcasting in Africa to begin to envisage and appropriate the larger implications of the roll out of the digital platforms.
“Africa must ensure that our media continues to serve its people in terms of security, economic well-being and technological advancement.
“The Digitization of the technology of broadcasting is rapidly changing broadcasting and offering fresh opportunities – Broadcasters are embracing platforms for diverse content and now require media tools with continuous access to content throughout their business. The evolution of new broadcast platforms is threatening traditional broadcast platforms and channels. The reality though is that the motivation apparently is that as broadcasters engage new platforms, the market opportunities are increasing, providing new revenue streams,” the Minister explained.
He revealed the huge potentials that lies ahead in the era of digital broadcasting in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“The digitization of broadcasting offer Nigeria a lot of opportunities. The benefits are multifaceted and very far-reaching – in the areas of economics, politics, education, entertainment, science and technology and several other ways.
Many have said that the impact of digitization on television will be revolutionary and I cannot agree less. With digitization, the TV industry in Nigeria will be able to raise over I billion dollars in one year. Also, digitization will increase the number of the current 450 TV stations in Nigeria.”
Alhaji Mohammed says the broadcasting industry and digital economy will grow by $1 billion per annum through increases in advertising, Nollywood income and value added services.
“It will offer uncountable opportunities for jobs especially for young Nigerians who form the majority of the demographics in the broadcast industry and other ancillary industries,” he said.
In his remark, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission in Nigeria, Mallam Modibbo Kawu said AFRICAST would provide a unique opportunity for a synthesis of contributions and ideas of experts from within and outside Nigeria to help drive policy implementation and capacity building while charting the best way forward for Nigeria and Africa in the digital era.
Senate Committee chairman in the Nigerian parliament, senator Suleiman Adokwe said the Nigerian Senate supports every effort by the NBC to switch the country’s broadcast to digital and in that regard will support every idea brought before it.
AFRICAST commenced on the 18th of October in Abuja, and it will end on the 20th of October.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting: Financing Quality Content.’
Some of the events lined up are; Exhibitions, Master classes, networking opportunities, plenary, investment platforms among others.