DG's SPEECH @ BROADCAST CONTENT DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT IN ENUGU
- July 26, 2018
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TEXT OF SPEECH BY IS’HAQ MODIBBO KAWU, DIRECTOR GENERAL NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC), AT THE 2018 NATIONAL BROADCAST SUMMIT OF THE NBC, WITH THE THEME: “BROADCAST CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: DEEPENING DEMOCRATIC CULTURE IN NIGERIA”; MONDAY, JULY 16TH 2018; BON SUNSHINE HOTEL, ENUGU.
On behalf of the Management and staff of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), I will like to welcome you to the 2018 National Summit. It has become standard practice now, to bring some of our events to this friendly city of Enugu. Early this year, in January, we held our Board of Management’s 2018 Retreat here; while as recently as the 28thof May, we returned here to hold the National Political Broadcasting workshop in this same location. So it is my pleasure to welcome you all to this Summit on Broadcast Content. This year, the theme is: “BROADCAST CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: DEEPENING DEMOCRATIC CULTURE IN NIGERIA”.
I am happy to note a consistent pattern to the themes that we have explored with our annual National Broadcast Content Summit. In 2016, the theme was “BROADCAST CONTENT AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT”, and for that, our colleagues gathered in Lagos. Last year, we held the Summit in Jos, Plateau state, and against the backdrop of the problems that Nigerians have harvested in that part of our country over the years, the 2017 theme was “BROADCAST CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE”. Our Summits have the general aim of assisting Nigerian broadcasters and content providers, to create such contents that would deepen patriotic awareness, on themes that are directly related to the socio-economic and political life of Nigeria. These include such themes as issues of peace and national security; health care; food security; the environment, conflicts over resources, and so on. We envisage that these Summits would assist our colleagues to develop an awareness of our responsibility to the development processes in our country; as well as developing such contents, as can help deepen the quality of life for the Nigerian people.
This year’s theme is targeted at concentrating our minds, about the “DEEPENING OF DEMOCRATIC CULTURE IN NIGERIA”. Nineteen years down the line, since the transition from the transition to Civil Rule in 1999, Nigeria has continued to make steady progress, despite often very daunting challenges of underdevelopment and poverty, and other related indices. There has also spiked in recent years, various forms of conflicts, related to the fault lines that define Nigerian existence. These have largely deepened suspicions within our country. Unfortunately, in our setting, we cannot afford the luxury of content production that is not conscious of its historical responsibility to the nation and our people. That realization of a sense of responsibility to the country, is central to the annual gathering that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), continues to generate with this annual Broadcast Summit.
From the technical perspective, things are also evolving for the better. Over the past two years, we have gradually begun the tortuous walk on the path of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. As I write these lines, one of our Broadcast Signal Distributors (BSD), Pinnacle Communications Limited is installing facilities for the switchover in Gombe state. They will follow up with similar facilities in Delta. That will then help us to conclude the transition in 8 states, just as we have also tentatively nominated another set of six states, for the next level of transition. So from a zero-level, we would be bringing about 14 states into the digital broadcasting loop, in a few years!
This new process can match forward only on the platform of the highest quality content, in every genre of programming. Despite the impressive technical backbone that digital broadcasting represents, at the end of the day, at the heart of broadcasting, is CONTENT! So digital broadcasting is opening newer opportunities for our broadcasters and independent content providers, to challenge themselves, to extend the horizons of the content that would populate our broadcasting in this new, digital era. Digital broadcasting will provide the aperture to create new content, as well as bring newer generations of broadcasters and content producers to maturity. We are all aware now, that Nigerian content, has become one of our greatest exports today. We believe that broadcasters can do even more, with the opportunities that are opening up all around us. However, we must always remember that we have responsibilities to our country.
At the National Broadcasting Commission, we believe that the deepening of the nation’s democratic culture can only redound to the benefit of all us; as professionals and as citizens. We therefore have a very special place in this endeavour as professionals. We must always remember that we must have a country first, before we can find the metier to be able to produce content. Yet, the types of content that we produce, can either help to reinforce the nation’s democratic credentials, or can also negatively impact upon the democratic consolidation, that we all desire. The dialectics are very profound indeed. I have no doubts in my mind, that in Ben Egbuna, we have chosen a most competent and consummate professional to explore the theme of this year’s Broadcast Summit. Ben Egbuna is a broadcaster of the old school, from the exacting standards of the old Radio Nigeria, where I also began my journey as a very young broadcaster, 42 years ago, in 1977. Ben is an intellectual and a very decent gentleman. Similarly, we have also brought equally intrepid individuals, with equally rich pedigrees, to explore sub-themes that would help deepen our understanding of the nexus between broadcasting and the deepening of democratic culture in our country.
It is my hope, that this would be an engaging gathering for all of us this morning. And on a final note, we couldn’t have chosen a better location for this year’s Broadcast Summit, than this very friendly city of Enugu.
I want to thank you all for your attention!