The Electronic Media Content Owners Association of Nigeria (EMCOAN) has hailed the recent amendments to the NBC code and statements credited to the Honourable Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as regards creating a conducive environment for the development of the Nigerian broadcast industry ahead of the second phase of the digital switch over starting this April 29th, 2021 in Lagos.
According to a statement jointly signed by Mrs. Jibe Ologeh and Mr. Alayande Stephen T., EMCOAN President and Secretary-General respectively, “its members and anyone involved in the local content industry over the past two decades will affirm the numerous challenges being faced in the business of creating, funding and broadcasting local content in Nigeria. We find it very heartwarming that government has finally looked into these challenges and is proffering solutions to save local content media business from collapse.”
In the words of Mr. Theophilus Akatugba, the 2nd EMCOAN Vice President, at the just concluded Digital Switch Over (DSO) stakeholders meeting held on the 12th April 2021, content must be given its prime focus in any dialogue and activities around the DSO. Producers and content creators have what it takes to make better, cutting edge contents that push the boundaries, aid discovery and appeal to today’s audience while being paid adequately for it.
“Channel owners and content creators know that one major challenge is the huge debt by being owed by advertising and media agencies, many producers have shut down and channel owners unable to pay its staff and run their operations due to this huge debt profile. The new NBC code which stipulates that broadcast stations and content owners cannot be owed for more than 60 days is a welcome development that will ensure that content owners can profitably run their operations and contribute meaningfully to Nigeria’s GDP,” Akatugba opined.
EMCOAN, the statement said, has watched over the years the partial implementation of the NBC code that stipulates sixty percent local content broadcast during the prime time belt of 7pm to 10pm. The new directives that defines local production as content whose executive producer, director are Nigerians with seventy-five (75%) percent of the cast being Nigerians, and a major part of the production funding going to Nigerian companies. This will in no small way increase local media content, boost employment, talent discovery, open new markets and expand the value chain for the entire media creative industry.
“Our organization also applauds the intention by government to encourage the production of adverts for local products and services within Nigeria. We believe these adverts will tell a more compelling story and connect better with the target audience who can identify with the concept, models and brand. We have always believed nobody can tell our story better than us. EMCOAN supports the penalty for airing of adverts not locally produced on media outlets in Nigeria and the airing of adverts run on foreign media, on the local stations as well. We believe the Nigerian market of 200 million people provide huge possibilities for everyone.
Finally, the creation of the content development fund from the penalties will go a long way to build the much needed capacity and funding required to encourage our large army of young creative who have shown they have what it takes to excel at the global level as exemplified at the recent Grammy awards.
We want to appeal to all stake holders to give government the much needed support in ensuring these laudable initiatives achieve the aim of the much needed development in Nigeria’s broadcast landscape as we launch the second phase of the digital switch over era with positive optimism of greater possibilities for Nigeria’s creative and broadcast industry”.