This is a frontal dislocation – the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed two PayTv platforms – GoTv and Startimes – to migrate their signals from self-carrying to any of the two licensed FreeTv signal distributors. Yes, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, the directive was in line with the Digital Switch Over (DSO) process: “We have directed National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to ask Gotv and Startimes to go to either Pinnacle or ITS. They cannot carry their signals and that is the only way the licensed signal distributors can survive.’’
News Agency of Nigeria broke the news. It would be interesting to know if GoTv and Startimes have licenses also, now that their businesses would morph to make sure other businesses thrive! This is simply license positioning, and using that for a company which was built for the center of the smiling curve to find opportunities at the edges, without improving any market element at demand-supply interface.
Nigeria is a very interesting country – people get licenses to create moats, just as Dangote Refinery is now making a case that only those with refining licenses should be allowed to import petrol into Nigeria. So, magically, get a crude refinery license in Nigeria and become an importer of fuel (petrol). And the alpha follows.
Punch had reported that Dangote Group has desired for inclusion in the Petroleum Industry Bill a requirement that the license to import petroleum products should be given only to companies with active refining licenses. The company does think that by having that requirement, companies will invest in local refining business.
But that is a very tough one since some people can actually get licenses just for the rights to import fuel. I mean, if Dangote Refinery thinks that will stop traders, they would be shocked. As things stand, the House of Representatives is investigating the alleged missing of “5.2 million barrels of crude oil allocated to local refineries under the Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) – DSDP allows sales of crude oil to refiners, who will in turn supply the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with an equivalent worth of petroleum products’, Premium Times reports.
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The first phase of the rollout had covered the Federal Capital Territory and the five states of Plateau, Kaduna, Kwara, Osun and Enugu. According to the minister, the laws of the land recognises a single frequency network that is being operated by two licensed signal distributors – Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Pinnacle Communications. He said the two PayTv – Startimes and GoTv – which are currently carrying their respective signals, are in negation of the law and must migrate to any of the licensed signal distributors of their choice.
The minister gave an assurance that with the approval of N9.4 billion by the Federal Government and the setting up of a 14-member ministerial task force to drive the DSO process the remaining 31 states would be successfully and effectively covered.
He said the DSO would enable Nigerians have the opportunity to have choices of many TV stations as well as have access to quality pictures and programmes with little annual cost and no monthly subscription.
Mr Mohammed said the plan for every state the DSO is being rolled out is to cover at least 70 per cent of population coverage with Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) while the remaining areas would be covered by Direct To Home (DTH).
He pledged that no part of the country would be left out without DSO signal before the final Analogue Switch Off
Speaking on contents on the FreeTv platform, the minister said the government would set up Local Content Development Fund to assist talented young artists and content developers as well as enable budding stations to thrive.
He said part of the fund would also be used to assist veteran actors and notable celebrities to procure special licenses to either have their own channels or programmes.---
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