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FG reveals reasons for $500m loan request for NTA



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The federal government, says the $500m loan request applied for by the Ministry of Information and Culture is not just for the digitalisation of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) stations, but also meant to execute three major projects which includes building of an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu, Lagos state.

It would be recalled that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had warned the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, against securing $500 million dollars (N182 billion) loan to plunge Nigeria into more debt.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of information speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday said the news making the rounds is false, adding that the $500m loan is not only for NTA.

Giving a breakdown of projects to be embarked on, Mohammed said: “In an era of social media, the real news is usually sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism and disinformation. That’s how I will describe the hysteria, in a section of the media, over the reportage of the $500 million loan being sought from China.

“It is wrong to report that the loan is being sought for the NTA alone. Indeed, the loan is for three major projects

”To construct a headquarters complex and transmission network for INTEGRATED TELEVISION SERVICES (ITS), the FG-owned signal distributor that is a major component of the country’s Digital Switch Over (DSO), to build an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu that will have the following facilities; Indoor/Outdoor shooting area, Animation Production Facility, Digital Media Training Centre, World Class Cinema Four-Star Hotel, An Amusement Park, Amphitheater, Acquisition of digital movie production equipment for rental as well as power system”

The Minister said the loan will also go to procure a Media City Training Academy, only the second of its type in Africa (the first is in Egypt) that will train Nigerian broadcasters and filmmakers in the production of high-quality media content programmes and make Nigeria a hub for digital movie production in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He also added the fund will be used to digitize all NTA stations-Headquarters, 12 Zonal Stations- 36 State Capital NTA Stations and 76 Community Station, Upgrade, purchase and installation of relevant digital TV broadcasting equipment compatible with DSO products and accessories that are necessary for the production and broadcast of digital programme contents, in addition to the provision of power system and manpower training.

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