The Federal Government has granted a 3-year tax relief to the newly inaugurated Pay TV operator in the country, TStv Africa, as well as tax free dividends to all investors in the company.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this on Sunday night in Abuja at a dinner to mark the official unveiling of the new company.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports TStv Africa is a wholly owned Nigerian Pay TV operator with refined offerings of novel Unclassified Pay Per View subscription and complimentary internet services.
Mohammed, who performed the official unveiling of the new company and its products, said the tax reliefs were in line with the Pioneer Status recently granted to the Creative Industry by the federal government.
The minister congratulated the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Dr Bright Echefu, and his team for liberalising and breaking the monopoly of Pay TV in the country.
“The important thing about what Echefu has done today is that he has redefined the pay per view television industry and from today that industry will never remain the same again.
“What he has done is to democratise the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for even a peasant farmer to have access to the best entertainment and news in the world.
“It is a great opportunity for me to be the one to unveil TStv because just like a Nigerian made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward to crash the cost of Pay TV,” he said.
The minister commended the courage of the investor for coming from the Diaspora to invest in his country and for believing in the government’s seriousness about diversifying the economy.
He said the company had also demonstrated that government alone could not do all things but needed the participation and synergy of the private sector.
“I want to assure that this administration will continue to assist you and other investors in creating the enabling environment for businesses to grow,” he said.
The minister said that the government was aware of the huge contributions of the creative industry to the nation’s economy and would continue to support the sector.
However, he identified contents and the lack of objective audience measurement as major challenges that had retarded the growth of TV and advertising industries in the country.
“With the liberalisation of the industry, content has become very key because content determines which channels are being watched and which are not.
“Another major challenge is how to get an accurate measurement of which channel is being watched and which is not.
“Kenya and South Africa are about one third of our population but they do much better in TV and radio advertisement than us because of their robust audience measurement,” he said.
The minister announced that the National Broadcasting Commission and his ministry would organise a workshop on Nov. 28 to address the challenge of audience measurement.