Lai Mohammed vows to rejig NTA to compete with CNN with $500m loan

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the approval of the $500m loan request of the ministry will enable it revitalize the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to compete with the likes of Cable News Network (CNN).

The minister said this while fielding questions from the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans to defend the $500m loan the ministry applied for from President Muhammadu Buhari’s $29.96b loan for funding critical infrastructure in the country.

He explained that the approval of the loan request would facilitate the upgrade of the facilities of the NTA to send out signals that would be at par with CNN, according to him, there would be availability manpower and the technology.

He added that the creative industry was not just about Television alone, but film, music, fashion and photography, adding that there was no better platform to showcase Nigeria’s talents than having a digital system.

He said the creative industry employs no fewer than one million young persons directly and indirectly, noting, “If this project is approved, there will be more visibility for our people in the music, fashion and film industries.

“In 2014, we made $23m from music alone and about $53m in 2019 and we are looking forward to making $83m in 2025. You can imagine the kind of growth we will have if only we digitise all the NTA stations in the country.”

He said the project for which the ministry planned to borrow the $500m was about employment and revenue generation, saying the industry contributes 1.492 to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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