Lai Mohammed, who is Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, has said that the $500m loan which his ministry is requesting for approval from the Nigerian senate is to help place one of the country’s official broadcast media, The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) at par with the likes of global media like the Cable news Network (CNN).
Mr Lai mohammed gave the statement while defending the ministry’s budget as found in the total loan request of submitted to the senate by the president, Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari, in the loan request of $29.96b to the senate said the loan is for funding critical infrastructure in the country.
But according to Lai mohammed before the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans, the loan request segment of the information and culture ministry is to pitch NTA at par with CNN to dish out, not only television contents but also film, music, fashion and photography.
He said the loan is also to help complete the digitization of NTA according to the deadlines given by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Lai mohammed said the loan is necessary “because we have the manpower and the technology.”
According to him as quoted by Guardian.ng, “If this project is approved, there will be more visibility for our people in the music, fashion and film industries.
“In 2014, we made $23m from music alone and about $53m in 2019 and we are looking forward to making $83m in 2025. You can imagine the kind of growth we will have if only we digitise all the NTA stations in the country.”
“In 2014, we made $23 million from music alone and about $53 million in 2019 and we are looking forward to making $83 million in 2025.
“You can imagine the kind of growth we will have if only we digitise all the NTA stations in the country.
“Apart from agriculture, which is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, especially the youths, the next largest employer of labour is the creative industry.”
“The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2006 gave June 17, 2015 as deadline for all members of the organisation to migrate from analogue to digital. Regrettably, we were unable to meet the deadline along side most countries in sub-Sahara Africa, the deadline was moved to 2017, which was not reliable and today the target is June 17, 2020.”