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Content, key to success of DSO – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Saturday called on Nigerians to resist any agenda designed to cause division and instability in the country. The minister made the call while speaking on a radio programme, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He urged them not to allow anyone or group play on the security challenges in the country to pit them against one another. Mohammed said the country’s security challenges were surmountable, urging the citizens to refrain from statements and rhetorics that could exacerbate the situation. “We are calling on all Nigerians to resist any agenda by anybody to threaten the unity and peaceful coexistence in the country. “We have always lived together peacefully for long as Hausas, Yorubas, Ibos, Fulanis and so on, and we have always resolved our differences amicably. “So, l want to urge our political and religious leaders particularly to be careful about what they say. “We should be doing things that could help address the security challenges that we have, not making statements capable of worsening the situation,” he said. The minister also warned against portraying the herders/farmers clashes in parts of the country as part of plans by one ethnic group to subjugate the other. He said that farmers and herders had always had disagreements and community leaders in the affected areas had always found a way of resolving the issues. The minister said there was the need for communities to go back to the old ways of settling disputes between herders and farmers for peace to reign. Mohammed said the Federal Government was committed to the protection of all citizens and would not side with any particular people against the other. On banditry and insurgency, Mohammed said the government was doing its best to address the problems. He said security agencies had recorded remarkable successes against bandits and terrorists and called on Nigerians to support them to do more. “If we look at where we were and where are now, we will see that a lot has been achieved. “Though the challenges are still there, the government won’t rest until the problems are over. “I want to call on citizens to continue to support the government and our security agencies to achieve more,” he said.
Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the success of Digital Switch Over (DSO) project – a transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting – is hinged on content.

The minister stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the 14-member Ministerial Task Force on DSO.

The News Agency of Nigeria  (NAN) reports that the minister on Feb. 23,  inaugurated the task force to drive the DSO process in the remaining 31 states and targeted at creating over one million jobs in three years.

In his opening address at the meeting, Mohammed stressed that with the right content, the 24 million TV households in the country would embrace the project.

“Even the purchase of the Set Top Boxes (STB) by Nigerians will depend on the richness of the content offered.

“Before now, we either gave out the boxes free or at subsidised rates.

“But now that the project is being commercially-driven, the sale of STBs will depend on the content,” he said.

Specifically, the minister said in order to get Nigerians to buy into the project, sports, especially football and in particular the English Premiership and Champions League would be indispensable.

He added that entertainment, especially Nollywood/Kannywood movies; news, both local and international and children’s programme, including cartoons were also important.

Mohammed said they would also use the opportunity offered by the project to help popularise the local football league.

He said they would work with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to have their weekly matches shown live.

The minister underscored the need to ensure massive publicity for the project, contending that millions of Nigerians were still unaware of the true essence of the DSO and the opportunities therein.

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“Recently, a newspaper article on the DSO said Nigerians will not be willing to buy STBs because of the cost.

“They have forgotten that the cost of the STB will be offset in the end by the non-payment for weekly or monthly subscription, which is a key selling point for the DSO.

“To prevent this kind of disinformation, we need to widely inform and educate

Nigerians on the project,” he said.

The minister thanked members of the task force for accepting to serve, adding that the success of the project rested on their shoulders, reminding them that they could not afford to fail. (NAN)

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