TEXT OF SPEECH BY DIRECTOR GENERAL NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION, IS’HAQ MODIBBO KAWU, AT THE OPENING OF A TWO DAY WORKSHOP ON CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION FINANCING IN ILORIN ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7TH, 2018
It is my pleasure to welcome all our delegates at the opening ceremony of this content development workshop here in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state. I do not want to over-stress the fact that this is my hometown; everybody with any kind of links with the NBC since I became Director General in 2016, or in my previous professional engagements on radio, television as well as in print journalism, knows that I have tremendous love for this city and our dear state, Kwara. It is that filial affection, that only genuine and bona fide sons and daughters of this city and state, can feel and express, that gives me the boundless joy to welcome you to Ilorin, and Kwara State.
The purpose of our gathering is one that is central to the development of our broadcasting, especially in the digital broadcasting era. At the heart of Broadcasting is content. For too long, the central place of content was missed by many people associated with Broadcasting. The main preoccupation was the procurement of equipment. These were often multi billion Naira procurement processes, that attracted those at the helm of affairs. These equipment were then dumped in the broadcasting complexes around the country, and often, no one bothers to look back. The assumption was always that the government has done its duty, with the procurement of what was often described as “state-of-the-art” or “digital-ready” equipment. The level of mediocre programming was never mediated and that deepened frustration about the output of our broadcasting outfits.
What was in short supply was actually the most profound reality. The reality that content is king in broadcasting! It is what is Broadcast that is the most important fare of our broadcasting business. In the digital era, content has come back to its rightful place, as the most central, most important piece in the broadcasting value chain. Within the context of our transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting, it has become much clearer, or it is becoming increasingly clearer, that content is in fact everything! It is one of the reasons why it was decided that 70% of all content on television, moving forwards, must be local. And with 24 hour television, across Nigeria, the central imperative of content has become even clearer to all Broadcasting stakeholders. The opportunity has emerged to nurture a new generation of Nigerian content developers, who can take advantage of what DSO offers, to create the new generation of content, able to reflect the dynamism of our increasingly young country. And by extension, tell Africa’s story to the world. This is very important, given the manner that various forms and formats of Nigerian content have become so central to the African social space today.
The National Broadcasting Commission is very much driven by these realities, and that is why we have continuously engaged the industry at the level of content development initiatives. In 2016, we held three content financing workshops in Lagos, Enugu and Kano. The experiences of going around the content hubs of Nigeria, allowed us to get a direct experience of what is engaging Nigerian content developers, including the challenges associated with financing their creative ideas. It was in fact one of the factors that strengthened our resolve to push forwards with the creation of a National Content Development Fund, as part of the initiatives that would be spin off of the DSO. This is the backdrop for our gathering in Ilorin over the next two days. NBC has put together a very robust team of very experienced Nigerian professionals to make this content development workshop very worthy of all our participants. It becomes even so much better, that we chose a Ilorin as the venue of this two-day gathering. Please let us make the very best of our gathering so that we can come out of the experience of our gathering, able to look at content development in a newer and more robust manner. Welcome to Ilorin. And accept my best wishes, as I declare this content development workshop open. Thank you very much for your attention!