By Odunewu Segun
Observers are beginning to query what has happened to the $300m foreign facility obtained by indigenous auto manufacturing group, Innoson Vehicle manufacturing (IVM) in 2016 for the local production and supply of a minimum Set-Top Boxes to support the FG’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) project being handled by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
National Daily gathered that the amount was part of Innoson Group partnership with a Consortium of Chinese Investors to pump in $1billion into Nigeria information technology sector of the economy; to include 400 million Nigeria’s DSO Project Digital Satellite TV station and additional $600 million covering other important sectors.
Recalls that in October 2016, the public relations & media assistant at Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe quoted the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, that he had on Monday, October 25, received the consortium of Chinese Foreign Investment Group led by Liu Baoju, a deputy minister of Communist Party of China in Shandong Province where the deal was discussed.
Osigwe noted then that visit which comes as one of the gains of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China will attract a foreign investment of 1Billion USD.
He further gave a breakdown of the investment as currently agreed by the Chinese Consortium as follows; “Financial foreign investment credit facility of $300million USD for local production and supply of a minimum five to eight Million (5-8million) Set-Top Boxes to support the Federal Government of Nigeria Digital Switch Over (DSO) project being handled by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission in order to meet the deadline switch of June 2017.”
“Financing foreign investment of $100million to establish the latest technology and biggest DTH (Direct-To-Home) Digital BING Television Station across all states of Nigeria.
“In addition, the two above immediate investment is being followed by another 600 Billion USD investment in which negotiations is almost fully concluded with our strategic partners to cover the following areas of Nigerian economy; Smart City (CCTV camera) using cloud computing total solution that is known as E-Policing to cover the whole landmass of Nigeria.
Many who remembered the news of the facility access October last year are calling on the government to find out what happened to the $300m which was specifically accessed with manufacturing STBs in view.