THE Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says Nigeria has gone many steps ahead of its peers in Africa on Switch Over to Digital (DSO) Television Broadcasting.
The minister disclosed this on Wednesday in Cannes, France, after a tour of stands of Nigerians and other TV and online content developers at the on-going 2017 MIPTV.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports MIPTV is French acronym which translates to English words, International Television Market Place.
It is an annual, leading TV and online content development event and the largest global distribution television and digital content market.
The minister, who is attending the three-day event, said Nigeria was doing more than it was being appreciated in Digital Switch Over, (DSO) and would not rest in its oars to achieve a total switch on.
“Another takeaway from here is that we have seen that we are doing more than how we are appreciated on the DSO especially among our peers because we have gone many steps ahead of many African countries.
“We have been able to appoint signal distributors, Set-Top Box manufacturers and we have rolled out in Jos and Abuja.
“We intend to roll out in Kaduna before the end of the month and by May this year we will roll out in three other states.
“However, we must see how we can build contacts and relationship that will enrich content production in accomplishing full digitisation,’’ he said.
Mohammed said plans were underway to compare notes with other African countries to see how they could exchange ideas on digitisation.
“We want to embark on trip to visit other African countries and see how we can exchange ideas on digitisation.
“This will afford us the opportunities to see how far other countries have gone, what are their challenges and how we can work together to address these challenges,’’ he said.
The minister expressed satisfaction with the performances of Nigerian entrepreneurs who had stands at the pavilion, stressing that they had done well in their involvement in several aspects to deepen the industry.
“As we can see, the Iroko Production is doing well in development of rich Nigerian contents and the Aforevo that is concerned about taking Nollywood to Francophone countries is of global standard.
“We also have other entrepreneurs who are content builders and producers’’ he said.
The minister, however, called on the Aforevo to show interest in co-production to complement its biggest distributorship of Nigerian contents in French, Swahili and other languages.
Sen. Suleiman Adokwe, the Chairman Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, who was part of the team, assured the support of the legislative arm in successful DSO.
“It is a nice experience to come along with the executive to see how we can collaborate in implementing some of the policies that will take the information industry to a higher level, particularly on the DSO.
“We believe that this is the time to look for private organisations that produce contents and see how we can improve on delivering rich contents to the ordinary people,’’ he said.
The lawmaker urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to seal agreements that would enrich cultural contents of stations on free TV.
The Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, said the future was very bright for the country on DSO.
He expressed the commitment of the commission to boosting Nigeria’s leadership position in terms of DSO on the continent.
He noted that though the effort involved huge logistics, financial and technical challenges, DSO would be a reality.
NAN reports that the team toured the stands of ZEE Entertainment, the content producers for ZEE, World Indian channel, RTI Distribution of Cote d’Ívoire as well as that of some other African countries.