The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has welcomed China’s decision to support Nigeria in its quest to actualize
the transition from Analogue to Digital broadcasting.
The Minister was responding to comments by the Vice-President of the StarTimes Group of China, Ms. Zhao Yueqin, who led a delegation of the
company on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja on Monday.
He said Nigeria is irrevocably committed to meeting the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline in order to protect broadcast signals
from interference and also to unlock the creative potentials of Nigerians in technology and content development.
“The process of digitalization is unstoppable and irreversible; it’s not a matter of choice. If we do not follow the world to digitalize
and meet the June 2017 target, it means that our telephones, televisions and radios will not be free from interference. As a matter of fact, planet earth today does not know the extent of the dividends of digitalization and how far it will go.
“Digitalization is going to affect the way we perceive and understand broadcasting. It will act as a catalyst to unleash the creative
potentials of our youths. It will also provide the panacea to piracy. It will create so much possibility that will enable
Africa leapfrog and join the next generation of technology,” Alhaji Mohammed said
He said his ministry will also borrow a leaf from China, particularly in the area of national re-orientation, having realized that Chinese
economic boom and development were underpinned by the discipline of its citizens, their patriotism and dedication.
“This ministry is going to start a campaign very soon to promote national rebirth and value re-orientation, because unless we change
our ways and we are able to bring back discipline, integrity and values, the change we are talking about will not take place,” the
Alhaji Mohammed, who expressed delight that the strategic partnership between Nigeria and China is waxing stronger in various sectors, said
the trade volume between the two countries had jumped from $6.9 billion in 2009 to over $14 billion in 2015.
The Minister however stressed the need to correct the trade imbalance between the two countries by encouraging Chinese investors to set up
factories in labour-intensive sectors in Nigeria and also canvassed for the abolition of the 5% tax levied on agricultural products
entering China from Nigeria.
In her remarks earlier, the Vice-President of the StarTimes Group, Ms. Zhao, expressed China’s willingness to assist Nigeria to realize the
Digital Switch Over.
She stated the commitment of China to ensuring that every household in Nigeria has access to digital television signals.