From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved N9.43 billion for the completion of the digital switch over project, which had previously missed the deadline for its implementation.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to journalists at the end of FEC meeting in Abuja saying council also endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministry and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Bankers Committee for the renovation of the National Theatre, Iganmu Lagos, at the cost of N31.8 billion.
The minister said the ITU had two cut off dates, one in 2017 another in 2020, where nations were supposed to complete their movement from analogue to digital.
“The effect of the move today is that, digital switch over is now real and the economic effect of it will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in content production, channel distribution, Nollywood and electronic appliance productions to service about 20 million Nigerian homes. At the end of the switch over, we would have created the biggest free to air TV platform in Africa.”
He said the President had in 2020 gave approval to the CBN and the Bankers Committee, to develop, refurbish, renovate the National Theatre and at the same time take over the adjourning lands to create a veritable creative industry where they would be four hubs, for films, music, IT and for fashion.
“The memo today was for the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to enter into Memorandum of Understanding for the refurbishment of the National Theatre. The CBN and Bankers Committee are willing to invest N21.894 billion to renovate, refurbish and commercialisation (run it profitably) of the National Theatre complex.”
According to the minister, the MoU has a life span of 21 years after which it would revert back to government.
Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, disclosed that the council approved N8.4 billion for the construction of a dam for the Damaturu Water Supply project in Yobe.