The Media Blog: Lai Mohammed and Ambode said plenty things about the media yesterday – and precisely nothing

It’s really frustrating when Nigeria’s leaders speak often about the power and necessity of tourism – and then do actually nothing since Donald Duke was governor to seriously engage the possibility of that potential.

Because a huge part of tourism is the media – it’s the art of selling the power of your destination as attractive, to those who don’t actually live there. The only way to effectively do that is through the media, including of course local media that power Google results in a time when spenders depend first on word of mouth.

But our people don’t get that – that’s why anytime they talk about the media, they spew clichés and rambling lines of nothing-ness.

Like yesterday. At the 15th Annual General Meeting and 65th General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed (whose administration chased out the only functionally accomplished National Broadcasting Commission boss we have had since democracy’s return only to replace with his stooge, and gave Tinubu’s spokesperson a job atop an agency he has no apparent experience with) spoke at the opening ceremony – and all he could say about a crucial multi-billion naira industry is how he needs the media to ‘sensitive people about terrorism and militancy.”

Of course we know that he wasn’t invited because of deep insights into the industry he leads, but simply because big annual AGMs need big men. And of course Mohammed is only minister because Nigeria governments don’t understand the nature of the media’s complexity and assume anyone who has a ‘sweet mouth’ can do ‘information’.

There is more where that gem came from:

“We are all aware of the challenges of insurgency and resurgence of militancy in parts of the country. The responsibility of the media, particularly the broadcast media, in assisting government and relevant security institutions in quelling terrorism cannot be overemphasised.

“Statistics have revealed that radio and television stations are major sources of information for most Nigerians. This is why government is putting so much effort and resources in achieving a more developed broadcast industry in the country.”

Nothing about the massive opportunities open to investors in Nigeria’s news and entertainment media space. Nothing about the immense potential of digital vide4o and how much value it can add to jobs. Nothing about what CNN’s Lagos-centred Africa operation says about the competitive landscape. No name-check of the media properties that are driving the future, or the increased spend in the sector in the past year (over 10 percent according to PwC) despite a constricted economy. Nothing even about the explosion in global acceptance of our previously stunted film space.

Just babble blather that shows you how bleak the future of this industry would have been if it were left to these bores.

The Lagos state governor, who has otherwise been impressive, also brought on his Nigerian-speech-speak.

“We are committed to promoting the broadcast industry to an enviable height,” he said, very profoundly.

Oh so profound.

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