HMIC, Alh. Lai Mohammed’s Opening Comments At Maiden Meeting of Ministerial Task Force on DSO


1. You are all welcome to this inaugural meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on DSO, and once again thank you for accepting to serve on this very important task force. As I said during my last press conference on the DSO, the success of this project now rests squarely on our shoulders, and we cannot afford to fail.

2. I am sure the agenda for the meeting has been distributed to members. From what I can see here, we will take briefings from the Acting Director General of the NBC; then we will take comments from the various critical stakeholders on their state of preparedness for the impending massive rollout across the country and then move on to other important issues, including the timeline for the rollout.

3. Let me say, straight away, that the success of this project is hinged on content. If the content is right, the 24 million TV households in the country will embrace it. If the content is wrong, they will not. There is no better way to say it.

4. Even the purchase of the Set Top Boxes by Nigerians will depend on the richness of the content offered. Before now, we either gave out the boxes free or at subsidized rates. But now that the project is being commercially-driven, the sale of STBs will depend on the content.

5. Based on conventional wisdom, sports, especially football and in particular the English Premiership and Champions League; entertainment, especially Nollywood/Kannywood movies; news, both local and international , and children’s programme, including cartoons, are indispensable if we are to get Nigerians to buy-in to this project.
Therefore, the issue of content must be taken seriously.

6. We must also tap into the great opportunity offered by this project to help popularise the local football league. We can work with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to have their weekly matches shown live. I have no doubt that they will be willing to work with us in this regard.

7. We must also discuss how to ensure massive publicity for this project. Today, millions of Nigerians are still unaware of the true essence of the DSO and the opportunities therein. Recently, a
newspaper article on the DSO said Nigerians will not be willing to buy STBs because of the cost, forgetting that the cost of the STB will be offset in the end by the non-payment for weekly or monthly subscription, which is a key selling point for the DSO. To prevent this kind of disinformation, we need to widely inform and educate Nigerians on the project.

8. Finally, we have kick-started the process of implementing the Audience Measurement Scheme, which is critical to the success of the DSO project.
Once this scheme is ready, all content owners and channels will now be able to get commensurate benefits for their efforts and creativity

9. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the inaugural meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on DSO and I thank you for your kind attention.

10. I will now call on the Acting Director General of the NBC to brief the Task Force