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Digital switchover to generate $1.1bn ― FG

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…Information Ministry targets 2m jobs in 3 years

Digital Switch Over from analogue to generate $1.1bn ― FG

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

The Federal Government on Wednesday said that the proposed digital switchover, DSO, in broadcasting will generate into the country’s coffers $1.1 billion from the collection of TV licenses and Digital Access Fess and the sale of the spectrum that would be vacated once the Analogue to Digital migration has been completed.

The government also said that the digital switchover, DSO is expected to create one million jobs within three years, while the Ministry of Information and Culture will be creating another one million jobs within the same period.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the 6th virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Alhaji Mohammed said he presented the scorecard of his ministry to the council and that the DSO has so far been rolled out in five states of Enugu, Osun, Kwara, Kaduna and Plateau as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, adding that the government was set to extend the rollout to all parts of the country.

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He said, “I have just presented the Ministerial Performance Report of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, covering the period August 2019 to June 2020, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“The presentation centered around the 8 Deliverables given to the Ministry, and they include the execution of a proactive media strategy to communicate the policies and achievements of Government; promoting tourism; promoting a positive Nigerian brand through local content in film, music, software, arts, and fashion as well as job creation.

“At the core of today’s presentation is the creation of jobs. This should not be a surprise, considering the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy. While the pandemic has affected all sectors in Nigeria and around the world, it has hit the Creative Industry harder than any other sector, because the industry is the most people-centered. With social distancing and the ban on mass gathering, the industry is now grappling at straws.

“But the good news, as contained in today’s presentation, is that the Ministry of Information and Culture is set to create over 2 million jobs within the next three years. We are doing this through the implementation of Deliverable number 7, which mandates us to collaborate with the private sector to create jobs for the youth.

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“The number one job creator under the Ministry of Information and Culture in the digital switchover (DSO) in broadcasting, which is set to create 1 million jobs in the next three years through the manufacturing of set-top-boxes (decoders) and TV sets, TV and Film production, as well as TV and Online advertising and Data, among others.

“Of course, the DSO will also fetch $100 Million from the collection of TV licenses and Digital Access Fess, as well as $1 billion from the sale of the spectrum that would be vacated once the Analogue to Digital migration has been completed. Please note that we have so far rolled out the DSO in five states (Enugu, Osun, Kwara, Kaduna and Plateau States) as well as the Federal Capital Territory. We are now set to extend the rollout to all parts of the country.”

The Minister further stated that the ongoing reform of the Broadcast and Advertising Industries is aimed at strengthening the industries so they can live up to their billing and generate more job opportunities.

According to him, “In the broadcast industry, the reform will, among others, propel revolutionary advantages in the area of promoting entrepreneurship in the local industry. As for the Advertising Sector, bringing Nigeria’s TV advertisement market to what it should be, which is three times its current size, could result in additional $200-$400 million revenue to the industry, in addition to creating thousands of jobs.

“Then, of course, the Cultural Industries Centres, which are scattered all over the country, are capable of creating 500,000 jobs within the next three years, just as we can have some 100,000 jobs from the restoration of our museums, especially in Lagos, Plateau, and Kwara.

“In summary, the Deliverables handed down to the Ministry altogether have the potential to create more than 2 million jobs within the next three years, and to create more in subsequent years -thus contributing to the realization of Mr. President’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.”


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