As part of efforts to reform Nigeria’s broadcast industry, the federal government says it will enforce 70 per cent local content in radio and television programmes in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced this at a meeting with the Electronic Media Content Owners Association of Nigeria (ENCOAN) in Lagos on Monday.
This is coming on the heels of contention against his ministry’s intention to secure a $500 million loan for the upgrade of the nation’s broadcasting infrastructure and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Describing the move as revolutionary, Mr Mohammed said reforms in the broadcast industry are pertinent for new innovations and improvements in the sector.
He said further that the new legislation on broadcasting in the country had shattered monopoly and had given room for competitiveness.
“Now if you take a copy of the new Broadcasting Code, you will see that we have done a lot of work. We have broken the monopoly in the industry and we are going to ensure that we enforce the 70 per cent local content in our broadcasting.
“The reforms that we have undertaken will promote local content and will give value to your creative work,” he said.
The minister urged members of EMCOAN to take advantage of the new policy and look at new frontiers in content production, especially for women and children programmes.
“I believe that we are entering a new dawn for local content producers like you. We are revamping the Broadcasting Code in a manner that will favour you.
“We are instituting the audience measurement system for your benefit and we are working also on getting a more virile APCON that will take care of the interest of all stakeholders,” he said.
Emphasising that the Central Bank of Nigeria is making funds available for the creative industry, the minister urged EMCOAN to work with the government by identifying the priority programmes that will enjoy funding, promotion or subsidy from the apex bank.
He entreated EMCOAN to continue to produce the local content that reflects the nation’s diverse cultures in order to inculcate values and ethics in children.
In her remarks, the President of EMCOAN, Jibe Ologeh, said the association is “responsible for more than 85 per cent of the content in the nation’s broadcast industry.”
She said the association identified with the ministry on the reforms which give priority to local producers.
Ms Ologeh said Nigeria is blessed with rich cultures and scenery that will positively project the image of the country, particularly when they dominate the content in radio and television.