How local entrepreneurs can tap into $50b opportunities in Nigeria’s media industry, by John Momoh

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Nigeria provides one of the largest and fastest growing markets for entrepreneurs, according to Channels Media Group Chairman John Momoh. He was the keynote speaker at the Second Fate Annual Alumni Conference held in Lagos. The event had as theme: “Unlocking the growth potential of MSMEs through partnerships and innovation’’. DANIEL ESSIET reports.

For the Chairman, Channels Media Group, Mr. John Momoh, the strategy to remain afloat in the broadcast business and be ahead of others is simple: Transform digitally.

He believes every broadcast business needs to be digital to thrive in the economy.

Momoh spoke at the Second Fate Annual Alumni Conference in Lagos.

The event had as theme: “Unlocking the growth potential of MSMEs through partnerships and innovation.”

Beyond enhancing content and driving transformation, he said there was the need to be Information Communication Technology (ICT) minded.

He urged Nigerians to tap into about $50 billion worth of opportunities in the broadcast and media industry.

According to him, there are opportunities for small amd medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to provide services to broadcast businesses through the use of digital technologies.

“As we know, Nollywood is rising with more talents coming on board; moreso, we need more channels that are dedicated to carving a niche for themselves in different areas,’’ Momoh said.

The sector, he said, has huge opportunities to generate employment and revenues for the economy, if the potential could be properly harnessed.

He said digitisation would soon open the window for more investments and for channels of programming that would be dedicated to various niches.

According to him, the market presents tremendous opportunities for small businesses to grow and create more jobs.

He recounted how he started Channels Television 22 years ago and the challenges he faced.

Momoh said he applied for a licence to launch a free-to-air news television station in 1993.

With limited capital and a resolute determination to succeed, the commitment of his family, a N3-million loan from a local retail bank, and the eventual support of a few friends, and a committed core staff of 15, the Channels boss said the station began test transmission two years later within Ikeja, Lagos.

At the beginning, he recalled that mainstream advertisers were reluctant to embrace his firm.

He had to battle both the political and financial landscapes to survive. It was during one of the most challenging times ever in Nigeria’s political history flickered with military dictatorships.

Most times during the Sanni Abacha years, he narrated that the station faced the risk of collapse with military attacks making the dedicated news channel a non-attractive bet for investors that they approached to invest in the project.

Despite the early pitfalls and near collapses, the Channels Television chief said the project survived.

His words: “We bootstrapped our way to financial stability.’’

He said a dogged spirit of faith and the commitment of his wife, helped the resolve to continue in the pursuit of what was going to disintegrate into an unlikely dream with declining returns.

According to him, the television’s bias for news placed it well above other competitors in the industry.

The station, he added, bagged the ‘Best Television Station of The Year’, an award endowed by the Nigerian Media Merit Award Trust – 10 times in the last 14 years: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, thereby making Channels Television “the Station of the decade.”

Fate Foundation founder, Mr Fola Adeola, urged entrepreneurs to be diligent and resilient in the pursuit of their vision and growth of the economy.

Adeola said the mission of the foundation is to foster wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurship among Nigerians.

Fate Foundation Executive Director Adenike Adeyemi, said participants would benefit from experienced entrepreneurs and experts at its conferences.

This year’s sessions, according to her, focused on access to markets, brand management, agribusiness and sustainability.

Fate Foundation was founded in 2000 by Mr Adeola, the pioneer of GTBank PLC. Since its inception, it has graduated over 5,200 entrepreneurs from its Aspiring, Emerging and Special Entrepreneurs’ Programmes and trained over 40,000 Nigerians in its short entrepreneurship certificate courses.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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