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Digital Switch Over: Broadcasting Code Amendment Aim To Curb Monopoly And Boost Local Content – FG



The Federal Government said the Digital Switch Over is a priority project because it will improve local content, create jobs, curb content monopolies and improve on-demand television to millions of Nigerian households.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed At The Digital Switch Over Stakeholders Meeting in Lagos on Monday.

The Minister disclosed that the DSO has been rolled out in five states so far, adding that the FG is “kick-starting the new rollout here in Lagos state on April 29th 2021, Kano state on June 3rd 2021 and Rivers state on July 8th 2021. We will then follow up with Yobe state on July 15th 2021 and Gombe state on August 12th 2021.”

According to Mohammed the DSO is about stimulating local content and empowering platform owners. It’s about creating jobs for our teeming population, especially the very creative youth population. This project is capable of generating 1 million jobs in three years.

We have carried out an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry because we know that there is a nexus between those reforms and the success of the DSO. The amendments were necessitated by the need to boost the local content in Nigeria, curb anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies and boost advertising revenues.

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The Minister revealed that the FG amended the Code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of programme content in order to create room for the local industry to grow. “For example, the pay-tv sector of the Broadcast Industry had been controlled by foreign interests, while indigenous efforts to compete have been frustrated or weakened by the established control of the big monopolies,” he said.

We have amended the Code to stimulate growth in the advertising industry, introducing regulations mandating media agencies and advertisers to offset all outstanding invoices within 60 days related to advert placement and the barring of carriage of adverts of defaulters.

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Under the new amendment, for a programme to qualify as local content, it must be authored, directed and produced by a Nigerian. In addition, at least 75 per cent of the leading actors and major supporting cast must be Nigerians, a minimum of 75% of its program expenses and 75% of post-production expenses paid for services provided by Nigerians or Nigerian companies.

The Minister added that the amendments also boosted advertising as all advertised products and services manufactured, grown, processed, developed, created and originating from Nigeria, shall be wholly produced in Nigeria.

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Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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