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Agriculture

From Rediscover Nigeria desk

  AGRICULTURE   The wealth of a nation is partially measured by its ability to guarantee its citizenry food security.In…

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Manufacturing

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Manufacturing in Nigeria concentrates mainly on the production of consumer goods. With a population estimated today at over 156 million…

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Nigeria! Overview

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Tourism in Nigeria has huge potentials to be a major foreign exchange earner. The Obasanjo administration has created awareness among…

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Nigeria's Resources

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Nigeria's total verified external debts as at December 2010 was US$4.578 billion as against US$3.947 billion in 2009. Total scrutinized…

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Rediscover Nigeria Information

The News

Information

There are five broad categories of activities and opportunities under the Information Sector in Nigeria. These include:

1.         The Press
2.         Broadcasting
3.         The Movie Industry
4.         Regulatory Agencies

 

THE PRESS

The press since the pre-independence times in Nigeria has creditably performed its role as the watchdog of government and defender of civil society. This defensive role of civil society stems from its origin as a critical organ in nationalist agitation against colonial government.

Since independence, that role has continued. Today, Nigeria has the most robust and arguably the freest press on the African continent. In the dark days of military rule, all attempts to muzzle it through intimidation, closures, framing, arbitrary detention and jailing of journalists failed to achieve its purpose. Its resilience was even better exposed.

There are more than 150 dailies, weeklies, monthly and quarterly press publications in Nigeria and each is surviving in an atmosphere of freedom. One of the cardinal achievements of democracy in Nigeria is the total restoration of press freedom. The dailies and weekly magazines are almost always critical of government, putting it on its toes. Actions of government officials that smack of indecency and a breach of their oath of office are prominently reported and they have given leads to unravelling acts of corruption by public servants and private sector businesses.

The support of the Press for democracy has been a major area of achievement. This has been actualized by bringing to public fore potentially explosive issues in the polity. They have helped to douse tension and contribute to creating an atmosphere of dialogue.

SHORT COMINGS

  • The bane of journalism practice in today's Nigeria includes:-
  • Inadequate modern working tools in investigating and filing reports, insufficient bureaus to monitor events along with concentration of reportage on negative issues which have an urban bias.
  • Journalists sometimes report personal opinions as representing public opinion. Reportage therefore concentrates on attacking individuals and not issues.
  • Political news rather than development journalism represents 90% of reportage.
  • Over reliance on foreign media in reporting news that is local to Africa. There is an urgent need for African print and broadcast organizations to evolve a strategy of exchanging information and film footages with one another.
  • Poor welfare packages and lack of insurance for journalists in the performance of their duties.
  • Investigations of scoops are often hindered by the official secrets act enacted during colonial rule which prevents civil servants from divulging information on “sensitive” issues.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL ( F.O.I)

The Freedom of Information Bill Act was signed into Law in 2011. It has opened up the industry to full investigative journalism. It is a major positive development to enable the media performs its role creditably and support transparency initiatives.

BROADCASTING

Radio broadcasting in Nigeria started with the Nigerian Broadcasting Service in 1951. This was followed by the establishment of a television station by the Western regional government of Nigeria in 1959. Consequently by this time, Nigeria had already fully entered the audio-visual broadcasting age. Data available from the National Broadcasting Commission showed that as at 2004, the following broadcast stations existed in Nigeria:-

  • 97 Federal Government owned Radio and Television Stations.
  • 72 State owned Radio and Television Stations.
  • Community Radio Stations
  • 17 Private Radio Stations.
  • 14 Private Television Stations.
  • 2 Satellite Broadcast outfits.

New licences have constantly been issued since the de-regulation of broadcasting in 1992.

PROGRAMME CONTENT

At the onset of broadcasting in Nigeria, programme content was very rich and high in quality. This was achieved then even with little resources. Over time, training of personnel and upgrading of equipment which were neglected have taken their toll on the industry.

Equally important is that good quality programmes are driven by corporate organizations which invest in advertising and sponsorship. The downturn in Nigeria's economy over the years forced most organizations that have big corporate budgets to streamline their spending. The result was that the quality, variety and depth of broadcast programmes have declined. These are once again on the rise.

MOVIE INDUSTRY

The exorbitant cost of shooting celluloid films has brought about the emergence of low budget movies utilizing digital video cameras. The phenomenon though often criticized for its lack of depth in scripting and directing has been a huge success in Nigeria grossing income of more than US$200million annually. For many young Nigerians, the movie industry has been an outlet for expressing their creativity and actualization of vision in an economy that has faced challenges since the early 80's. Termed NOLLYWOOD, the industry is throwing up a lot of talents and shows that with better organization, it can compete favourably with the best anywhere in the world. Activities in the industry are currently dominated by movie marketers who are sometimes over bearing even though they have limited technical knowledge about film production.

It is believed that better collaboration professional movie makers will bring about better world class hit movies that can attract audiences in the best theatres anywhere in the world. The diverse culture of Nigeria and the various experiences provide very beautiful story lines out of which these movies can be created. NOLLYWOOD, acclaimed to be the third largest movie industry after Hollywood and Bollywood is still growing. It requires time to enable it graduate to making movies on celluloid and attracting the best hands in the industry.

REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

The National Broadcasting Commission is solely responsible for the regulation of the broadcast industry. It is responsible for issuing licences since the de-regulation of the industry and has come down hard on stations in the past for violation of the broadcast code.

DIGITIZATION

Nigeria has set a digitization transition date of June 17, 2012 against the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) dates of June 17, 2015. The frame work for its implementation is being worked out by Government to be implemented by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). At the time of implementation, it is expected that one or two National Carriers will come on stream to reduce the cost of operation of broadcast stations and make Frequency more readily available for use in other critical areas of National development.

The Nigeria Film Corporation NFC, in collaboration with Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria(ITPAN) and some multi-national bodies, have been trying to get movie makers through workshops, to come together and improve the industry. The Film Corporation operates a National Film Institute (NFI) as a training school for movie makers. Along with the Television College both in Jos (Plateau State) and the Departments of Mass Communication and Theatre Arts in many of the nation's universities, they remain the main manpower development institutions in Nigeria for the broadcast and movie industry. The constraints in these institutions along with lack of proper funding make it difficult for exhaustive practical classes and field work to take place. The National Film and Video Censors Board ensure that the end products of films and videos do not erode African family values.

To coordinate and ensure the orderly growth of the film industry, the Federal Government initiated the establishment of a Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON). When operational, it will ensure code of ethics for film practitioners and regulate entry into the profession through minimum relevant educational qualifications.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Manpower development through the setting up of world class training institutions or collaborative effort with existing institutions to develop the movie industry in Nigeria.
  • Setting up of television and radio broadcast bureaux and stations in Nigeria.
  • Manufacture and maintenance of broadcast equipment and the production of consumables like audio and videotapes.
  • Identification, promotion and management of artistes.
  • Commercial funding and production of good television programmes  for both domestic and international television channels especially on Culture, Tourism and  Conservation.

 

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Last Updated (Friday, 23 December 2011 22:09)

 
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