7th June, 2024

NCC endorses short codes for promoting cultural content

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced its commitment to support the cultural re-orientation of Nigerians by mandating telecom companies to ensure subscribers have access to content that will preserve and positively shape Nigerian culture.

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, made this announcement in Abuja during a courtesy visit by Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).

The visit aimed to discuss potential areas of collaboration between the two organisations.

Maida emphasized the importance of cooperation among critical stakeholders in the effort to re-orient Nigerians towards their cultural values. He highlighted the risk of foreign content shaping Nigerian culture if domestic content production does not increase.

“If we don’t produce our own content that will drive home the culture we want to preserve, it is the content we are consuming from outside that will shape our culture. NICO has a much bigger part to play here. While we provide the pipe that is delivering the content, those producing the content have a major stake in influencing the type of content to be shared,” Maida stated.

He further stressed the need for deliberate steps to address the lack of cultural identity in Nigerian media. “Today, if you watch Nigerian movies, the accent they speak with as well as their dressing does not totally reflect Nigeria; even the topics are not rooted in our culture,” he added.

In response to NICO’s proposal for telecommunication operators in Nigeria to include cultural content on caller tunes, as well as through short codes and robo-calls for cultural information, Maida assured the commission’s support.

Otunba Ajiboye, during the meeting, emphasised the need to integrate cultural content into the digital age.

He highlighted the influence of information technology on daily life and the importance of leveraging digital infrastructure to enhance Nigeria’s arts, culture, and creative industries.

Ajiboye also revealed NICO’s plans to launch a Global Cultural Digital Platform called “DuduPlugs” to showcase Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage and help keep Nigerian culture vibrant in the face of westernization.

“Our Global Cultural Digital Platform is an attempt to bridge the gap between culture and info-tech. This has the capacity to showcase our e-commerce, language, and other elements that can ride on the back of our communication platforms, reaching the world robustly and exuding the pride of our culture,” Ajiboye stated.

The collaboration between NCC and NICO aims to ensure that cultural content becomes an integral part of Nigeria’s digital landscape, fostering a stronger cultural identity for future generations.

Caleb Nor,
Media Assistant to Executive Secretary of NICO