By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said amendments to the National Broadcasting Code to reposition the sector have started to show results.
Mohammed revealed that by joining the amended code, he was rightly informed that a large multinational recently canceled an ad production planned for South Africa and moved it to Nigeria.
“The result? Practitioners in Nigeria earned N10 million from production, while model fees totaled N5 million.
“This is only the beginning, as we are determined to implement the reforms diligently.
The (NAN) reports that to stimulate growth and investment in the advertising sector, an amendment has been made to the broadcasting code regarding the production of advertising for local goods and services.
The amended section states that “all television and radio commercials shown on all broadcasting platforms, relating to products and services produced, grown, processed, developed, created and originating in Nigeria, shall be produced entirely in Nigeria”.
The minister said the broadcasting code had been amended to, among other things, boost local content, curb anti-competitive and monopoly trends and increase advertising revenue.
“As many of you will recall, we have led an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry because we know that there is a link between these reforms and the success of the DSO.
“We amended the Code to reduce the monopoly and exclusivity of program content to create room for growth for the local industry,” he said.
The minister frowned at a situation where the pay-TV sector of the broadcasting industry in the country was controlled by foreign interests.
He said that 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 unacceptable.
“Monopolies prevent many Nigerians from enjoying or accessing premium content, especially in sports and movies.
“With the amendment to the Code, anyone holding sports rights must make them available to other parties in Nigeria who may be interested in acquiring these rights.
“This obviously extends the opportunity for televised sports content to native players,” he said.
The minister said that under the new amendment, for a program to qualify as local content, it must be written, directed and produced by a Nigerian.
He added that at least 75% of key actors and key supporting actors must be Nigerians.
Mohamme said at least 75 percent of his program spending and 75 percent of post-production spending was 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 about the DSO, Mohammed said the federal government sees it as one of its priority projects, because of its potential to create jobs and bring governance closer to citizens through better access to information.
He said that DSO will bring the internet to millions of homes, provide quality programs, especially those produced locally, to some 24 million TV homes in Nigeria, with high fidelity pictures and sound.
“With the recent Federal Executive Council approval of overdue payments to key stakeholders in the DSO project, we are moving quickly to cover the remaining 31 states.
“We are launching the new deployment 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 August 12.
The Minister recalled that the DSO project is capable of generating one million jobs in three years.
He said that as part of efforts to make the DSO proposal viable, he ordered GoTV and StarTimes to stop self-transport by the end of June 2021.
Mohammed urged stakeholders to support the broadcasting sector development project. (NOPE)
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