President Buhari challenges stakeholders to exploit digital economy


President Muhammadu Buhari has called on stakeholders in the communication sector to explore digital economy to create thousands of jobs through technical and manufacturing opportunities of set top boxes.

President Buhari represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the call   at the Kwara Digital Switch Over Launch, held at the premises of the Nigeria Television Authority, Ilorin.

According to him, the digital switch over will create quality services, ensure access to information to all people of the country, create economic empowerment and provide a level playing field for all companies to engage in viable businesses.

“Set Top Box assembling and ultimately manufacturing is an irreversible mandate by the government to the industry. We expect this to extend very quickly to local Smart TV and Tablet manufacturing. With our strong consumer base, we can quickly become the supplier of these equipment to the whole of West Africa.” 

President Buhari explained that this would help to diversify the country’s economy by properly exploring great talents and resources.

The President therefore called on all stakeholders to support his government to grow the creative industry.

In his remarks, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed said with the waves of digitization across the globe, it is time to develop a television industry that would be reached in Nigeria’s local contents, orientation and styles.

Governor Ahmed who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Alhaji Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe, said in the recognition of this, his administration embarked on complete repositioning of the state owned media houses.

The Governor noted that the Kwara State Television Authority had been repositioned with modern digital equipment and transmitter, pointing out that the digital television station would be commissioned by January, next year.

Governor Ahmed said  the state government provided the Midland F.M with digital studio operational equipment, while a new transmitter would be acquired in the first quarter of next year.

He added that government would simultaneously commence the repositioning of the flagship A.M station to be the best in the Northern region and the Herald Newspaper, saying that their lost glory would be restored.

Earlier, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mallam Ishaq Maddibo Kawu, explained that the new digital switch over started last year with the pilot test in Jos, Plateau State, saying that each state from the geopolitical zones had been selected for switch over.

Mallam Kawu noted that all states of the federation would be switched over, while the local programme contents would be increased towards meeting the vision of digital economy of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Also, the Chairman of Digi-Team, Engineer Edward Amana said the journey of the cross over started thirteen years ago at a regional radio conference organized by International Telecommunications Union in 2014, pointing out that with increasing rate of radio stations in Kwara State, stakeholders in the industry should key into the opportunities in the television industry.