Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, is seeking the approval of N181.5 billion ($500 million) credit facility from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The loan, according to Mohammed, will enable the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to compete with the likes of Cable News Network (CNN).
While defending the loan request before the senate committee on Local and Foreign Loans, the minister explained that there is no better time for NTA to digitize its operations.
“The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2006 gave June 17, 2015, as deadline for all members of the organisation to migrate from analogue to digital. Regrettably, we were unable to meet the deadline alongside most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the deadline was moved to 2017, which was not reliable and today the target is June 17, 2020,” he stated.
On how the loan will be deployed, the minister explained that the loan is aimed at establishing the media and culture industry centre, digitize all NTA stations, and at the same time construct integrated television services to infuse on the network, which is the signal distributor and essential component of the digitization project.