The federal government has said that it amended the broadcasting code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of programme content in order to create room for the local industry to grow.
Minister of information, Lai Mohammed made this disclosure at the Digital Switch Over Stakeholders Meeting in Lagos, yesterday.
“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.
“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 per cent of its program expenses and 75 per cent of post-production expenses paid for services provided by Nigerians or Nigerian companies,” he explained.
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.
In February, The federal government launched a 14-member Ministerial Task Force on the Digital Switch Over (DSO) rollout across the country.
Mohammed said the Digital Switch Over is a priority project because it would improve local content, create jobs, curb content monopolies and improve on-demand television to millions of Nigerian households.
According to him, the DSO has been rolled out in five states so far, adding that the government 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.
“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,” he added