The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to achieve the ‘Digital Switch Over’ in broadcasting by 2017.
Mohammed said with the digital switchover, Nigeria would completely change the way television broadcasting is done.
“We are going to revolutionise the entire industry,” the minister said in a statement by his special adviser, Segun Adeyemi, on Friday.
The minister also allayed fears being expressed in some quarters that with the digital broadcasting, watching television would be out of the reach of poor Nigerians.
Mohammed also said all Nigerians, regardless of their political party, background, tribe or religion, would henceforth have equal access to publicly-owned media without any inhibition.
He stated this in Abuja during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday.
Mohammed also said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would not abuse the trust reposed in it by depriving Nigerians the opportunity to express their views through the public media.
He said, “As publicly-owned media outlets, they are accountable to the people of Nigeria and not to the ruling party or the ruling government and I would not accept a situation whereby publicly-owned media would be seen just as the mouthpiece of government.
“We believe that as publicly-owned media, the opposition and everybody in Nigeria must have equal access to us and we must also represent their views. This is a multi-cultural, multi-value and multi-opinionated country and, therefore, we must not abuse the fact that we are currently in power and we are operating publicly-owned media to deprive other Nigerians access to these media.”
He also said his ministry would strive to ensure timely dissemination of factual and verifiable information to keep the public abreast of government programmes and policies as well as get their feedback on the perception of the government.