Distinguished Chinese hosts; Distinguished Ministers from the various countries of our continent, Africa; and other Distinguished Colleagues from all over Africa. On behalf of the delegation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I want to thank the government of the People’s Republic of China; and the Star Times group, led by Mr Pang Xingxing, for inviting us to the 8th African Digital TV Development Seminar. This is the third time I am attending this annual Seminar, since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed me as Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission in May 2016. And every year, we have seen pthe impressive development of China-Africa relationship, in the realm of digital broadcasting. In Nigeria, Star Times’ partnership with the Nigerian Television Authority, Africa’s largest television network, has become a major platform of digital television experience for many of our people. Similarly, the transmission network that STAR TIMES has deployed nationwide, has also become a major asset of the Nigerian transition process from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. The network is employed by one of our two licensed signal distributors, the Integrated Television Services (ITS).
The National Broadcasting Commission, which I head, is the regulatory body for Broadcasting in Nigeria. We license, regulate and monitor all radio, television and satellite broadcasting in our very huge country. Nigeria today has a population of 195million people; we have 32.5million television homes; and it’s a country of very vibrant broadcasting and entertainment sectors. Today, with NOLLYWOOD, we have the second largest movie industry in the world. This industry posts an annual turnover of $4b, and it produces 2,000 new films annually. Nigeria’s strength is rooted in the talent of its young people. Today 75% of our population is under the age of 35. It is this segment of our population that is responsible for the explosive bourgeoning of Nigerian creativity, that has taken the contemporary world by storm!
It is important for me to inform this gathering that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), is the body that is driving Nigeria’s transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. After missing the deadline set in the past, in the last two years, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have set up a phased process of transition across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The digital broadcasting experience is a living reality in six states in Nigeria now, and we are reaching almost 20million of our citizens, with a bouquet of 30 television stations in two multiplexes. We hope to add an extra six states to the transition process, hopefully, before the end of the first quarter of 2019. That way, the digital broadcasting experience would then become reality for about 35 million Nigerians! I need to underline the fact, that when he launched the digital experience in Abuja, at the end of 2016, President Buhari spoke through Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibajo. He stated that Nigeria is “irrevocably committed” to ensuring the success of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. That commitment was within the overall vision that the president unfurled, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in 2016. President Buhari told captains of international business, that Nigeria would leverage upon the digital revolution to create new jobs, for our teeming population of young people. The transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting, is opening up new vistas of job creation, content development and technological development in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and its most populated country.
There’s no escaping Nigerian creativity and content in contemporary broadcasting and entertainment. We do hope that a platform such as this 8th African Digital TV Development Seminar, would open up newer vistas of cooperation between Africans and our Chinese counterparts. In Nigeria, we have seen how the creative relationship with China has become an important part of our broadcasting experience. We look forward to more joint-venture endeavors on both sides, in co-production of new broadcasting contents, to help UNIVERSALIZE DIGITAL TV in Africa, so we can all then ENJOY SMART LIFE, as the theme of this 8th African Digital TV Development Seminar urges. Long live the cooperation between Africa and the People’s Republic of China!
Thank you very much for your attention!