President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his Administration will facilitate the building of a vibrant television and media economy in order to unleash the latent energy of the country’s key media and entertainment industry.
”As part of providing this requisite environment, this Administration will ensure a strict adherence to the plan to reach 100% digital TV penetration in Nigeria by 2016, up from 49% at the end of 2013. In other words, we pledge our commitment to building a vibrant TV and Media Economy for the benefit of all Nigerians,” the President said at the 35th anniversary of Silverbird, the country’s foremost media
and entertainment company, in Lagos on Saturday.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigeria planned to use the Digital Switch Over as an opportunity to diversify the provision of channels and content.
”Silverbird, with its rich history, will have to play a key role in this evolution of television and entertainment to boost production, local content, employment of our ever increasing youth, contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP,” he said.
President Buhari said sub-Saharan Africa will have 46.46 million primary Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) homes by 2020, that is 37.6 million Free To Air and 8.86 million pay TV, up from 9.27 million at the end of 2013 and 0.53 million at the end of 2010.
”Nigeria will be the largest DTT nation in Africa in 2020, both for Free To Air – that is 9.07 million – and for pay, that is 3.59 million. As Silverbird seeks to deliver exceptional family entertainment to this important growth market, it will need to adjust its models to suit the market conditions to achieve the objective of maximizing the reach of the Silverbird Channel in the Nigerian market, and that it will have to do through a Free to Air model. The target markets for Free To Air are the 26-million-plus TV households, and the growth of DTT in Nigeria is accelerating much faster than the growth in the pay-TV market,” the President said.
He said that by using the Digital Switch Over (DSO), his Administration shall replicate in Nigeria the globally successful Free to Air model, to open up the market to mass numbers of potential viewers.
President Buhari said while Silverbird, which he described as an ‘iconic company’, had already keyed in to a key aspect of his Administration’s Agenda of creating jobs, especially for the youth, thus helping to force down crimes and enhance security, ”we are still counting on an even stronger cooperation between this company – and indeed the entire Media and Entertainment Industry – and this Administration in the efforts to ensure attitudinal change among our people, fight terrorism and corruption and provide even more jobs.”
Silverbird started in 1980 as a concert promotion company, bringing in foreign and local artistes to perform on the same stage in Nigeria. The company has now grown to become the number one media and entertainment firm that now owns radio and television stations as well as cinemas and malls across Nigeria.