Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

One year after $300m credit, Innoson yet to begin manufacture of STBs

Between the middle and end of October last year, leading indigenous auto manufacturing group, Innoson Vehicle manufacturing (IVM) announced it has join the league of Set-Top-Box (STBs) providers for the smooth migration of the country from analogue to digital television viewing experience in Nigeria.

However, one year after, there is nothing on ground to show for that even though the facility landed in Nigeria then for the purpose.

In fact, it was reported across every Nigerian media that Innoson Group had already secured foreign investment credit facility of $300 million for local production and supply of a minimum 5-8million Set-Top Boxes to support the Federal Government of Nigeria Digital Switch Over (DSO) project being handled by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Details from the group in October last year indicated that the amount was part of Innoson Group partnership with a Consortium of Chinese Investors to pump in $1billion into Nigeria information technology sector of the economy; to include 400 million Nigeria’s DSO Project Digital Satellite TV station and additional $600 million covering other important sectors.

Already, observers are beginning to query what has happened to the foreign facility. Whereas many say the fund may have been diverted from what it was accessed for, other say the silence after securing the loan after one year is enough for the broadcast regulator to launch an inquiry to find out what actually went wrong at Nnewi, the head quarters of Innoson Group and car manufacturing company.

Many who remembered the news of the facility access October last year are calling on the government to find out what happened to the $300m which was specifically accessed with manufacturing STBs in view.

Business Hilights recalls that in October 2016, the public relations & media assistant at Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe quoted the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, that he had on Monday, October 25, received the consortium of Chinese Foreign Investment Group led by Liu Baoju, a deputy minister of Communist Party of China in Shandong Province where the deal was discussed.

Baoju is the Chairman of Shandong Broadcasting Group and Shandong Cable Interactive Service Ltd, the world’s biggest TV operators and Huang Gang, Senior Vice President of Inspur Group and President of its Oversea Headquarters.

Osigwe noted then that “Inspur Group is China’s leading cloud computer solution supplier and cloud service provider involving all IT applications”.

“This visit which comes as one of the gains of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China will attract a foreign investment of 1Billion USD.

He further gave a breakdown of the investment as currently agreed by the Chinese Consortium as follows; “Financial foreign investment credit facility of $300million USD for local production and supply of a minimum five to eight Million (5-8million) Set-Top Boxes to support the Federal Government of Nigeria Digital Switch Over (DSO) project being handled by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission in order to meet the deadline switch of June 2017.

“Financing foreign investment of $100million to establish the latest technology and biggest DTH (Direct-To-Home) Digital BING Television Station across all states of Nigeria.

“In addition, the two above immediate investment is being followed by another 600 Billion USD investment in which negotiations is almost fully concluded with our strategic partners to cover the following areas of Nigerian economy; Smart City (CCTV camera) using cloud computing total solution that is known as E-Policing to cover the whole landmass of Nigeria.

Whereas efforts to get the views of the company failed, today, October 31, 2017 marks it one year of the announcement and there is nothing to show for it, Business Hilights can authoritatively highlight.