President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday appealed to broadcasting firms operating in Africa to patronise the Nigerian Communications Satellite.
Speaking at the African Broadcasting Union on-going Annual General Conference which opened in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari said NigComSat offered broadcasting organisations a tool to reach the whole of Africa with their broadcast messages.
Buhari, who was represented at the conference by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also kicked against the sale of FIFA World Cup and Olympics to private firms instead of African public broadcasters.
The president also said that public broadcasting risks extinction in the next 10 years unless urgent steps were taken to address the critical issue of content.
He challenged public broadcasters in Africa to pay attention to the creation of content in order to take their rightful place and be a catalyst for growth.
Buhari said, “Broadcasting is not just about equipment, and technology is not an end itself but a means to an end. There has been too much focus on equipment without massive investment of time and resources into content.
“Therefore, I challenge you to be the stimulant for growth in your creative industries and serve the promotion of culture. You must not lose the younger generation who are fast changing their view of television, what they watch and how they watch it.
“If the issue of content is not addressed urgently; public broadcasters in Africa that once dominated the broadcasting landscape will have no viewers in the next 10 years.”
He said the creation of content and world class production would create jobs, provide revenue for government and quality entertainment capable of increasing the broadcasters’ share of the advertising pie.
The president said African countries must not see the Digital Switch Over as a simple crossover from analogue to digital ‘but an opportunity to provide enhanced services, quality programming, interactive content and a new and vibrant media industry that will help grow the economy of the various African countries.