The Principal Partner of TDMedia Company, Mr Tony Dara, in an interview with Broadcast Media Africa, ahead of the upcoming “Broadcasting And Digital Media Convention – Nigeria” industry summit, took the opportunity to highlight the need for industry players to discuss actionable plans and strategies within the broadcasting sector as those are what will aid national development and progress.
The summit mentioned above is scheduled to take place from Tuesday, March 22, to Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Dara argued that the broadcast sector in Nigeria has the capacity to exhibit and impact the globe because of its large population, diversity and rich culture. According to Dara, the industry’s transformation is in showcasing the possibility through innovation and digital technology.
“I think there is a need to have a very coherent plan that takes into account how every component of the media infrastructure ecosystem and value chain relate and interact with one another,” Dara added.
He concluded by saying that he hopes the planned seminar not only leaves attendees with momentary euphoria, which fades shortly afterwards, but rather that it “provides an opportunity to take stock and give feedback on what is working and isn’t; for peer reviews and learning of new insights.”
BMA: What influenced your decision to agree to participate in the Industry Summit on “Broadcast And Digital Media Summit – Nigeria”?
Tony Dara: My decision helps and contributes to discussing the broadcast sector of our national development. I believe my knowledge, expertise, and experience will count as Nigeria grapples with the demanding challenge of developing a sustainable media broadcast policy and system.
BMA: How would you describe the current transformation that is taking place in the broadcasting industry, especially in relation to digital terrestrial broadcasting, reliable infrastructure and the accessibility of financing and funding? How can practitioners take advantage?
Tony Dara: The desire to advance the broadcast industry in the country remains a demonstration that there is a desire and will, to develop Nigeria’s media economy/ecosystem.
This is a massive opportunity for investment and investors. Nigeria’s potential lies with the fact that we have a large population with diverse and rich cultures to showcase and influence the world around us. The transformation taking place is the tip of the iceberg of the sectoral goldmine we sit on.
This transformation is showcasing possibilities through innovation and digital technology.
However, Nigeria needs to provide usable data and economic indicators to help drive investment and funding in the sector.
BMA: What is the biggest industry challenge faced at the moment in relation to the digital switchover, funding, and having to operate in an accelerated multiscreen and multi-platform ecosystem?
Tony Dara: “Show me the money” as it is often said, we need data and economic indicators to drive investment. Above all, the DSO’s biggest challenge is that technology and equipment to implement the process are imported, so the infrastructure cost in Nigeria and all over Africa is magnified by what it takes to get this equipment to end-users. In addition, the cost of maintenance and spares are largely foreign as well. The above mentioned causes the investment in the sector to be disproportionate as these items are acquired in foreign currency but with expected income in the local currency. As a result, they impact funding and investment decisions, narrowing down the type of investors with an appetite for slow returns on investment.
BMA: In your opinion, what do you think can be done to improve the dynamics of a fully-digital broadcasting ecosystem, taking into account the relationship between the public and private sector?
Tony Dara: I think there is a need to have a coherent plan that considers how every component of the media infrastructure ecosystem and value chain relates and interacts with one another. This plan must be thoroughly researched to mitigate all risks of human factors that tend to be a significant source of disruptions. There is a lot of rethinking and unlearning to have a more straightforward pathway to a future proof development agenda and plan that works for the country. The relationship between the public and private sectors is primarily afflicted by human factors because there is no coherent plan that speaks to developmental situations.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Tony Dara: Actionable plans and strategies, I hope. Most times, seminars are not enough; people leave with momentary euphoria, which fades shortly afterwards. We must have institutional vision drivers with zealous activism to keep progress on track. We must have a process where these vision drivers have successors; that’s how nations develop. Seminars like the one planned are occasions to take stock and give feedback on what is working and isn’t; opportunities for peer reviews and new insights.