The Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed has stated that the Federal Government has concluded plans to launch a N100 billion per annum free television distribution network to boost the Nollywood industry in Nigeria.
Mohammed stated this at the formal commissioning of the Gospel Digital Technology, Ultra-Modern Surface Mount Technology (SMT) set top boxes manufacturing plant at the Free Zone Enterprise in Calabar, saying that the gesture is intended to grow the economy of the movie industry in the country.
In his words, “today if you want to buy a Nollywood film, you either go to the Alaba market or you go and buy from the authorised shops, but with this network, it is now possible for millions of Nigerians to buy on demand. We call it video on demand. It is part of the facilities available on this set top boxes, which means you can buy online. Imagine if 20 million people order a film in on day, it would grow the economy of Nollywood.”
The information and culture minister described the commissioning as a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards attaining technological self-reliance, stressing that it was impressive that the factory can produce 2.4 million set top boxes annually, adding that it was a long held dream brought to fruition earlier than expected.
Mohammed lauded investors for exhibiting confidence in the digital switch over programme of the Federal Government.
Also speaking at the event,Chairman of the board of Gospel Digital Technology, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa said the factory will not only assemble set up boxes but also be involved in the production of other electronics.
The board chairman commended the Federal Government and other stakeholders for their support for them as the company to provide the set top boxes for the country’s digital switch over.
Group Managing Director of Gospel Digital Technology, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa also said, “In addition to DTT and DTH we are witnessing pioneering efforts in local production by commissioning three SMT automatic chip placement lines and four pneumatic assembly lines with the capacity of placing 250, 000 components per hour and production of 200,000 STB per month and also manufacture 100, 000 printed circuit boards per month.
“By this reckoning, the company is one of very few that you can find anywhere in the West African sub-region and is also capable of manufacturing, TV decoders, prepaid electricity metres, smart phones TV main boards, tablets and all kinds of electronic devices.
“In addition to the above, the most cheering aspect is the jobs that will be created as well as the technological knowledge acquisition that comes with this commissioning. I can say with all sense of responsibility that within the exercise between 300 and 500 jobs will be created and within the next few years, this will go a long way in reducing some of the societal ills associated with idleness.” He maintained.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of the Nigeria Broadcast Commission (NBC), Mallam Ishaq Modibo Kawu, congratulated Gospel for and impressive work.
Kawu averred that theirs is the first SMT production line in West Africa and would open up avenues of digital revolution in the country, as well as create opportunities for young people.
Speaking also at the ceremony, Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, pointed out that the state was the right place for business and promised to partner with the company.
Our Correspondent however reports that the Cross River State governor ordered for 5000 set top boxes at the commissioning.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar