Nigerian govt approves N9.4bn for completion of digital switch-over
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N9.43 billion for the completion of the digital switch over.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the council also endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministry and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Bankers Committee for the renovation of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, at the cost of N31.8 billion.
He said: “As you know, the ITU had two cut off dates, one in 2017 and another in 2020, when nations were supposed to have completed their movement from analogue to digital. Regrettably, we were not able to make it.
“But with the approval of this memo today (Wednesday), we would be striving to switch from analogue to digital.
“We will now agree on a date for a launch in the biggest cities like Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt. And we will start the switch off in the already switched on states.
“The effect of the move today is that digital switch-over is now real and the economic effect of it will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in content production, channel distribution, Nollywood and electronic appliance productions to service about 20 million Nigerian homes.
“At the end of the switch over, we would have created the biggest free to air TV platform in Africa. I will be announcing a ministerial task force that will execute the council resolve either this week or next.”
The minister described the endorsement of the MoU between the ministry and the CBN bankers’ committee as a landmark approval.
Mohammed added: “This is a landmark approval because it has paved the way for investment in the creative industry as part of the resolve of this government to create at least one million jobs in the next three years in the creative industry.
“The approval of these two memos is capable of creating one million jobs in the next three years.
“The President had in 2020 gave approval to the CBN and the Bankers Committee to develop, refurbish, renovate the National Theatre and at the same time take over the adjourning lands to create a veritable creative industry.”