The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), held its 72nd General Assembly with the theme: Nigeria Digital Transition, a Panacea for Economic at TVC Communications Premises, Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The 72nd General Assembly was hosted by TVC Communications (TVC)
The Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon in his welcoming address, spoke on the rising cost of DTT despite the stagnant economy. He said TVC Communications has invested heavily in order to remain afloat and face the challenges of the day.
The Acting Chairman of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa in his address, highlighted the significant progress made by BON over the past one year. He said the General Assembly/AGM was an opportunity to review what has been done in the last one year. According to him, BON made progress in terms of advocacy, setting national agenda and engendering freedom of the press.
The Ag. Chairman informed the Assembly of the acquisition of a permanent office complex in Abuja. He noted that the broadcast industry was currently going through serious evolution just like the telecommunications industry. He however, expressed sadness on the slow pace of digital transition occasioned by the inability of NBC to provide a framework and timetable for a successful Digital Switch Over in the country.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu while declaring the General Assembly open, stated that the theme of the 72nd General Assembly was apt and could not have come at a better time than now.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, the Governor said that the world was in the digital era and that Nigeria could not be a spectator in the digital migration revolution globally.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the Media/Press was the watchdog of the society and the pillar upon which democracy stands urging the media to shun partisanship, uphold professionalism and ethical standards.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by Mr Lawal Ahmed of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), spoke on the Digital Switch Over process in the country which he said was still on course. He said, with over 24 million TV households and being Africa’s hub of creativity and innovation, Nigeria is going to be the next digital hub. He drew the attention of mobile phone companies, advertisers, content producers, electronics manufacturers and Nollywood to the potentials and opportunities of selling Nollywood movies directly to millions of Nigerians with the introduction of DSO. He stated that the country was in the middle of restructuring and that the government is highly dependent on broadcasting revenue.
The Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Modibbo Kawu in his goodwill message said as regulator, it was pertinent to maintain a cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with BON
Represented by a Director in the Commission Mrs. Ojone Otonoku, the Director General said licenced signal distributors admission into the BON family has eliminated the cracks in the Digital Switch Over (DSO) framework. He maintained that improved synergy amongst stakeholders remained one of the bedrocks of development of the industry.
Mr. Clint Brown, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, SES in a goodwill message enumerated how SES supported the DSO by providing all infrastructures and expressed willingness to increase the company’s support for a successful DSO.
Goodwill messages were also received from the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Danbatta represented by Engr. Abba Adamu.
The Assembly had in attendance the Country Director, BBC Media Action, Nigeria, represented by Mr. Musa Abubakar, Executive Secretary, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Mr. Eki Adzufeh, Chairman, DigiTeam Nigeria, Engr. Edward Amana, the Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), represented by Mr. Onuorah Joe-Eugene and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, represented by Mrs. Ngozi Ikeyi.
The Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) made presentation at the Assembly on audience measurement and monitoring, how to place advert and improve on it.
Dr. Ken Eguruchin, National Coordinator, PinkCruise, a Mobile Health Outreach on National Cancer Prevention Programme, gave a health talk and thereafter, conducted a free medical test to delegates.
The Guest speaker, Engr. Shola Taylor, Secretary General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), London, United Kingdom spoke on the number of countries that have migrated from analogue and switched over to digital broadcasting.
He said Nigeria imposed self-deadlines in 2012, 2015 and 2017 which it could not meet acknowledging that some significant progress towards the DSO has been made.
Mr. Taylor highlighted the benefits of DSO which included: Access to broadband – Need for aggressive programmes to ensure this is effective; Employment benefits; sales boost; funding; and Sustainable stakeholders. He maintained that the ultimate beneficiaries of these are the consumers. But all these can only be achieved if NBC can facilitate the DSO framework and implement it expeditiously.
After thorough discussion of issues arising from the General Assembly, participants made the following observations and resolutions:
1. In order to give back to the community, BON members should commence Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
2. It was observed that a lot of broadcast houses are being owed huge sum of money by advertising agencies.
3. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has invited BON to the 2019 Emmy Awards and BON will be participating in this year’s event.
4. The Nigerian Broadcasting Code needs to be reviewed.
5. The TV Licence fee demanded by National Broadcasting Commission is on the high side.
6. The National Broadcasting Commission is yet to announce the complete Switch Off, Switch On time table.
7. BON membership has been expanded to include associate members for individual and corporate bodies.
8. The report on the appointment of an Executive Secretary for BON was not accepted.
1. BON members are to commence Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities with immediate effect
2. BON members are to have at least 50% down payment before any advert is carried on any station by advertising agencies.
3. Members interested were encouraged to participate in the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 2019 Emmy Awards coming up in November, 2019.
4. Members appealed to the National Broadcasting Commission to review downwards Broadcast License fees in view of harsh economic realities in the country.
5. BON resolved to accept Associate membership by individuals or corporate bodies who wish to join the Organisation.
6. The Assembly called on the National Broadcasting Commission to as a matter of urgency announce without any further delay the complete Switch Off, Switch On time table in the country which is far behind scheduled.
7. The General Assembly elected Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim, Managing Director/CEO, Abubakar Rimi Television Corporation – ARTV Kano as the new Chairman of BON.
8. The General Assembly approved the tenure of Vice Chairman, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa who was elected in September 2018 and has been acting as Chairman to take effect from the same date with the elected new Chairman, October 2019.
BON expressed appreciation to our host, TVC Communications for a successful hosting of the Assembly and thanked the Lagos State Government for the generous hospitality extended to members.
The General Assembly agreed that the next Assembly would be held in Kano to be hosted by Abubakar Rimi Television Corporation (ARTV).
Rt. Hon. Eziuche Ubani Mrs. Christabel Ojay Iyanya
Lawal Ahmed Ahaziah Suleiman
Femi Obong – Daniels