Abuja, Aug.26, (Allafrica.com/GNA) – Nigeria’s
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has welcomed China’s
decision to support Nigeria in its quest to actualise the transition from
Analogue to Digital broadcasting, Allaafrica.com has reported.
He was responding to comments by the
Vice-President of the StarTimes Group of China, Ms. Zhao Yueqin, who led a
delegation of the company on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
In a statement, he said Nigeria was
irrevocably committed to meeting the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline in
order to protect broadcast signals from interference and also to unlock the
creative potentials of Nigerians in technology and content development.
“The process of digitalisation is
unstoppable and irreversible; it’s not a matter of choice. If we do not follow
the world to digitalise and meet the June 2017 target, it means that our
telephones, televisions and radios will not be free from interference. As a
matter of fact, planet earth today does not know
the extent of the dividends of digitalisation
and how far it will go.
“Digitalisation is going to affect the
way we perceive and understand broadcasting. It will act as a catalyst to
unleash the creative potentials of our youths. It will also provide the panacea
to piracy. It will create so much possibility that will enable Africa leapfrog
and join the next generation of technology,” Mohammed said.
He said his ministry would also borrow a leaf
from China, particularly in the area of national re-orientation, having
realized that Chinese economic boom and development were underpinned by the
discipline of its citizens, their patriotism and dedication.
“This ministry is going to start a
campaign very soon to promote national rebirth and value re-orientation,
because unless we change our ways and we are able to bring back discipline,
integrity and values, the change we are talking about will not take
place,” he said.
Mohammed, who expressed delight that the
strategic partnership between Nigeria and China is waxing stronger in various
sectors, said the trade volume between the two countries had jumped from $6.9
billion in 2009 to over $14 billion in 2015.
He, however, stressed the need to correct the
trade imbalance between the two countries by encouraging Chinese investors to
set up factories in labour-intensive sectors in Nigeria and also canvassed for
the abolition of the five per cent tax levied on agricultural products entering
China from Nigeria.
In her remarks earlier, Zhao, expressed
China’s willingness to assist Nigeria to realise the digital switch over.
She stated the commitment of China to ensuring
that every household in Nigeria has access to digital television signals.