Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture has urged the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Chui Jian Chun to facilitate the granting of the 500-million-dollar loan to Nigeria by the China Export-Import Bank for the execution of three major projects in the public broadcast sector.
The Minister made the call in Abuja when he received the Ambassador, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja, requested the loan for the digitization of Nigeria Television Authority NTA and construction of a headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television Services (ITS), a Federal Government-owned signal distributor that is a major component of the country’s Digital Switch Over (DSO),
Another project according to Lai Mohammed is the construction of an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
“Also worthy of mention, Your Excellency, is the 500-million-dollar loan which we are seeking from the China Export-Import Bank for three major projects – the digitization of the NTA, the construction of a headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television Services (ITS), a Federal Government-owned signal distributor that is a major component of the country’s Digital Switch Over (DSO), and the construction of an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu.
‘I want to use this opportunity to appeal to Your Excellency to continue to use your good offices to fast-track the evaluation and approval process of the loan by the China Export-Import Bank, and to thank you for your efforts so far in this regard,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister also lauded the cooperation between the StarTimes of China and the Nigerian Television Authority, which culminated in the birth of the Integrated Television Services (ITS), which is the Federal government-owned signal distributor that is playing a major role in the Digital Switch Over in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Ambassador Chui said China is re-strategizing its bilateral relations with Nigeria to focus on Growth, Development and Progress.
He said the new strategy, tagged “5 GIST” will be a holistic, complete and sustained approach to focus on political support, economic cooperation, security and military collaboration, international affairs coordination, infrastructure, ICT, industry, investment, import and export, among others.
The Ambassador said the new focus will be anchored on people-to-people communication and relationship as well as cultural exchanges.