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  • September 7, 2016
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In continuation of his engagement with Stakeholders in the Industry, and his efforts to see that Nigeria meets the deadline of June 17, 2017, agreed upon by Countries in the West African Sub-region, for the switchover from Analogue to digital broadcasting, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mall. Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, paid a visit to SMK Engineering Limited’s Factory in Calabar.

The Factory, located at the Calabar Free Trade Zone, is a manufacturer of, amongst other household appliances, Set-Top-Boxes.

Welcoming the DG to the Factory, Alhaji. Kabiru Shittu (MON), the company’s CEO, expressed his appreciation to the Director General for the visit. He informed the team that the factory had started full production and has the capacity to produce, at present, about 2000 Set-Top-Boxes per day.

The factory, he said, has employed 200 staff. “We are trying to create employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths, while also serving the Nigerian market.”

“As we speak, our Boxes are being used in Jos, Plateau State. For the Pilot phase, we provided 50,000 Boxes. It is a very welcome opportunity to serve the people, and Nigerians are very enthusiastic about our products.”

“We are ready for the market. We will meet the demands.” he added.

The Director General expressed his delight at what he saw on ground in Calabar. He stated that the production of Set-Top-Boxes was central to the digital transition.

The DG was also pleased to see the number of young men and women under the employment of the company and noted that these would lead to technological transfer and economic empowerment for our unemployed youths. “The opportunities,” he added, “are limitless.”

“It is always important to talk about the demographics. 63% of the Nigerian population at the moment is under the age of 25yrs, 75% under the age of 35yrs. It is a terribly young country. So television and digital broadcasting can impact positively in making them commit to their country in a positive manner because then, they have a stake when they produce contents, and the boxes. They can exhibit their talents in different areas of television.”

The tour ended with a visit to the facilities where Skyrun International, partners of SMK Engineering Ltd., produces Set-Top-Boxes, Freezers, Air-conditioning systems, and Gas Cookers.

Still in Calabar, the Director General visited ‘Hit FM’ 95.9, a private radio Station, where he granted his first studio interview. He was received by the Station’s General Manager, Mr. Patrick Ogah.

The DG expressed pleasure at the creativity displayed by the Station. He stated that, “If you take a look at the history of the media, new innovations impact on what we call traditional media. And the way that traditional media has continued to survive is to adapt to the realities of creative endeavours.”

The DG observed that Newspapers are making the transition to becoming ‘views papers’.  “I do not think, for instance, that people would stop reading newspapers. But in different places in the world, what you have seen are no longer newspapers but ‘views papers’. The reason is that people have seen that story online. So what do the newspapers do? They analyse. So they move beyond just breaking the stories to now analysing in-depth, what exactly is behind the breaking news.”

He further stated that, convergence was actually the way to go for all media. “And if you look at the way digital broadcasting is going to happen in Nigeria, you are going to have electronic programme guide, for instance, so you can actually have, in an electronic manner, a summary of what is going to happen in a programme,” he stated.

On how optimistic he was on the success of the transition to digital broadcasting, the DG said, “Let me say that, personally, I am an incurable optimist about the life process. From that stand point, giving the amount of work that has been done by the Commission, we shall certainly meet the date.”

The Director General also visited the Calabar State Office of the Commission, where he was received by the State Officer, Mr. Daniel Abang and other staff of the State Office.

The DG has since returned to Abuja.



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