The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting will need to transition to a private-sector-driven enterprise.
According to him, this is the only way to ensure that the planned settlement of outstanding debts from the project is sustainable.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, a Special Assistant to the President on Media, and released to the public on Tuesday after the Minister held a meeting with stakeholders of the DSO project.
Note that Digital Switch Over is a process which converts analogue television broadcasting to digital television.
Lai Mohammed said that the FG wants to ensure a self-sustaining model for the project, even as it continues to seek funds to pay outstanding debts to restart the process.
“I want to put it on record here that we will be pursuing a full private-sector-driven DSO and there will be no more subsidies, either of Set Top Boxes or of Signal carriage,” he said.
The Minister added that he is working with the Finance Ministry, Budget and National Planning and Federal Executive Council to secure funds to restart Nigeria’s Digital Switch Over, a process that has been paused since the 2018 rollout in Osogbo, Osun State.
The project commenced in Jos, Plateau State in April 2016, and has been rolled out in Abuja, Kaduna, Ilorin, Enugu, and Osogbo.
The Minister said lack of funds to continue the process has hindered progress in the project, the project is critical to the rebound of the Nigerian creative industry. The DSO is expected to deliver the benefits of Digital Television and stimulate Nigeria’s digital economy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, going forward, the bottom line is that we need to think out of the box if we are to complete this process. Nigerians have waited far too long to enjoy the benefits of Digital Television. The Analogue to Digital Switch Over must not be delayed any longer than absolutely necessary,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
IMF optimistic about global economy but warns new Covid variants could affect recovery
IMF is quite optimistic about the fortune of the global economy but expressed fear that the new Covid variant could derail economic recovery.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed optimism about the global economy but warns that the new COVID 19 variant could affect the global economic growth, according to its latest World Economic Outlook.
According to the report, “the institution now expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year — a 0.3 percentage point increase from October’s forecasts. It sees global GDP (gross domestic product) expanding by 4.2% in 2022”.
According to its Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath:
- “Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of policies to provide effective support until that happens.
- “There remains tremendous uncertainty and prospects vary greatly across countries.
- “China returned to its pre-pandemic projected level in the fourth quarter of 2020, ahead of all large economies. The United States is projected to surpass its pre-Covid levels this year, well ahead of the euro area.
- “Policy actions should ensure effective support until the recovery is firmly underway, with an emphasis on advancing key imperatives of raising potential output, ensuring participatory growth that benefits all, and accelerating the transition to lower carbon dependence.”
What you should know
- There has been a surge in the number of reported cases of the new variant Covid-19 infections and deaths over the past few months.
- The new variant has been described as being more infectious and potentially deadlier than the original strain.
- The IMF had cut its GDP forecasts for the euro zone this year by 1%.
- It is being projected that the 19-member region, which has been severely hit by the pandemic, would grow by 4.2% this year.
- Germany, France, Italy and Spain — the four largest economies in the euro zone — also saw their growth expectations cut for 2021.
- Economic activity in the region slowed in the final quarter of 2020 and this is expected to continue into the first part of 2021. The IMF does not expect the euro area economy to return to end-of-2019 levels before the end of 2022.
- IMF revised its GDP forecast upward by 2% points on the back of a strong momentum in the second part of 2020 and additional fiscal support, with GDP expected to grow to 5.1% this year.
Updated: President Buhari appoints new Service Chiefs
President Buhari has appointed new Service Chiefs to replace the former with immediate effect.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
The appointments was disclosed by Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina in a social media post on Tuesday.
Adesina said: “PMB appoints new Service Chiefs. Maj Gen LEO Irabor, CDS, Maj Gen I Attahiru, Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Navy, AVM IO Amao, Air Force. He congratulates outgoing Service Chiefs on efforts to bring enduring peace to the country.”
President Buhari had come under heavy criticism in the last couple of years over his failure to sack the Service Chiefs for failing to tackle insecurity in the country.
“I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours,” Buhari disclosed in a separate statement.
I have also appointed new Service Chiefs, to replace the retired officers:
Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff
Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff
Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff
Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) January 26, 2021
What you should know: The outgoing Service Chiefs were appointed by President Buhari in 2015 and despite clamour from several quarters for the President to replace them with fresh blood, nothing happened until today’s announcement.
Investing in digital economy, infrasture crucial to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic – World Bank
Investing in digital economy will be crucial to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank has asserted that investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is according to the World Bank In Africa report – #AFRICAN CAN.
The report noted that in a time of Covid-19, dominated by lockdowns and social distancing, investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery.
It argued that the adoption of digital technologies by governments, households and firms in Sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind that of other regions in the world.
The report, therefore, maintains that government intervenes to reduce the cost of devices and services, avoid disconnections for lack of payment, and increase bandwidth will be key, considering that the road to economic recovery is projected to be long and arduous.
What they are saying
The report states that:
“The road to recovery will be long and arduous and will require policies and investments that focus on connecting people to job opportunities, which can help end extreme poverty, particularly post-COVID-19.”
What you should know
Even though the World Bank did not suggest the form that the policies and investments would take in the report, the Bank, in a separate report — flagship report – Global Economic Prospects – as reported by Nairametrics on the 19th of January, 2021, has argued that productivity-enhancing structural reforms are required for quick economic recovery.
The Bank suggests these productivity-enhancing reforms encompass promoting education, effective public investment, sectoral reallocation, and improved governance. Investment in green infrastructure projects can provide further support to sustainable long-run growth while also contributing to climate change mitigation.
According to the report:
- Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050.
- It is a diverse continent offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and wipe out poverty in the region, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.
- With the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is creating an entirely new development path, harnessing the potential of its resources and people.
- Knowledge is essential for governments to make better policies and institutions to make more effective decisions, thus, governments should pay attention to research and analysis.
According to World Bank’s Flagship report – Global Economic Prospects.
- Investment is projected to shrink again this year in more than a quarter of economies – primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where investment gaps were already large prior to the pandemic.
- Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rebound only moderately to 2.7% in 2021 – 0.4% point weaker than previously projected, before firming to 3.3% in 2022.