The Federal Government has said that it is looking into the challenges faced by the broadcasting industry especially the print media as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was made known by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, when he presented a portrait of Argungu festival to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also revealed that he has held a meeting with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, on the challenges faced by the print media.
Lai Mohammed said that government is waiting for NPAN to come forward with how it can add to what it has already done for the industry.
He said: “Government has done a lot the media, especially the broadcast industry, during this pandemic. ‘’The first thing we did was to give a waiver of two months payment of license fees to all broadcast houses, between May and July, after which we gave an amnesty as 60% discount or debt forgiveness, for all broadcast houses, except the Pay TVs, and also slashed by 30% the licensing fees because of the COVID-19. I also met with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, we met virtually and I’m still waiting for them to come and make their submissions.
“Definitely, the government is willing to look into the hardships and the challenges the media is facing and within our means to see how best we can intervene. I’m still waiting for the NPAN to come back to us to see what we can do to ameliorate the situation.”
He said that the Federal Government is interested in developing the creative industry because of its potential to create jobs.
“This government is putting a lot of emphasis and promoting the creative industry, which is tourism, the hospitality industry, which is the music industry, the film industry, publishing and broadcasting. “We’ll continue to support this industry and have Mr President’s support. He was quite excited about the portrait because he’s able to see what kind of jobs can be created through this cultural festivals,’’ Mohammed stated.
On his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister said, “I came today (yesterday) to make a presentation of a portrait of the Argungu festival to Mr President.
“You’ll recall that sometimes in February this year, after almost ten years of hiatus, the Argungu festival made a comeback. The Argungu festival is one of the two UNESCO recognised festivals and it’s on the UNESCO list of heritages.”
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