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NTA Stands to compete with CNN if $500m loan request is approved – Lai Mohammed 

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has promised revamped the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to allow it challenge with other International Mainstream Media like Cable News Network (CNN) if the $500m loan he seek for is permitted.

He  disclosed when he was speaking before Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans to clarify on the $500m loan the ministry applied for from President Muhammadu Buhari’s $29.96b loan to fund important infrastructure within the nation.

Lai  noted that if the requested money was permitted, the NTA could possibly be improved to allow it to send out alerts that might be in shoulder with CNN, “because we have the manpower and the technology.”

He said that the inventive industry was not restricted to Tv alone, however movie, music, fashion and photography, adding that there was no higher platform to showcase Nigeria’s abilities than having a digital system.

He stated that the creative trade employs almost a million younger individuals directly and indirectly, noting, “If this project is approved, there will be more visibility for our people within the music, fashion and film industries.

“In 2014, we made $23m from music alone and about $53m in 2019 and we’re 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.”

He stated that the venture for which the ministry deliberate to borrow the $500m was about employment and income generation, saying the business contributes 1.492 to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“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,” he said, insisting that the $500m would go a long way in improving 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,” he stated.

He restated the necessity for the nation to fulfill the brand new deadline as a result of shift in world today, from analogue to digital and Nigeria stays analogue, it meant that it could be unable to educate, entertain and educate Nigerians.

He stated that the mortgage was geared toward building the media and culture business centre at the price of $245m, digitise all NTA stations at $11m and assemble built-in tv providers to infuse on network, which is signal distributor and important part of the digitisation venture.

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