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Make special forex waivers for STB producers, GDT boss tells FG

Ahead of ongoing seamless Digital Switch Over (DSO), the Group Managing Director of Gospell Digital Technology (GDT), latest indigenous Set-Top Boxes (STBs) manufacturer, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa has called on the federal government to make special fund for the STB manufacturers in Nigeria.

In an interview, he said this has become necessary considering the fact that “DSO is a time bound thing and portend great opportunities in terms of employment, wealth creation”.

According to him, “Availability of foreign exchange is the one of the biggest challenges manufacturers in Nigeria are facing. As you know nobody in Africa manufacture chips, there are few companies in the world that manufacture chips and it is the major component which we use in the manufacturing of electronics. So the chips are imported as well as some other components. Over 60 percent of the components are imported. Those we do in Nigeria are like the cover sheets, the marketing materials.

Ohuabunwa recalled that “foreign exchange is our major challenge and we are asking the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to make special fund for the STB manufacturing”.

“Two, the issue of tax is there and in order for us to harness our capacity, we are requesting the government to completely enforce the stoppage of importation of fully build STB whether for free-to-air or pay TV, that way we can grow the capacity.

He argued that “We can’t set a factory of millions of dollars and people are importing the same thing from outside. Three, the free zone should be totally overhauled. We went to the free zone on the premise that we are going to enjoy stable electricity, access to one stop shop.

“That is not the case as at today there is no stable electricity in the free zone, it is epileptic; we have to put about four generators to run the plant. Today, 90 percent of companies at the free zone have parked out because of excruciating condition of the free zone. Government must come to our aid.