NIGERIA’S broadcast and audio-visual production business environment is set to be strongly boosted following the planned investment of over £30 million (N7 billion) by a United Kingdom-based company, Well Trade Services (WTS) UK Limited in partnership with Sony Group, world leader in electronics and home entertainment manufacturing and production.

The foreign companies, which are partnering with a Nigerian company, Creazioni Communications Limited, are targeting the growing broadcast, film and allied industries that have over the years, contended with the challenges of unavailability of state of the art equipment and skilled manpower, a situation that has led to capital flight to better advanced media centres like South Africa, the United States and United Kingdom. Nigeria, which is witnessing the first of such an investment, will also form the plank for WTS’ marketing operations in other countries in Africa.

Speaking on the investment initiative, Chairman of WTS Broadcast Nigeria Limited, Otunba Ayodeji Osibogun, said the company will be a broadcast equipment company that will operate world-class showrooms and state-of-the-art studio facilities in Lagos and Abuja and will offer the industry with the latest technology, “placing emphasis on service and support to differentiate itself from ordinary media traders.” This, he said, would be achieved in partnership with television stations, advertising agencies, the country’s growing movie and music industries and other media brands targeting particular market segments.

Osibogun observed that in the past decade, Lagos and Abuja has served as central hubs through which national events and news are transmitted to other parts of the country and the rest of the world and lamented that available facilities, skills and equipment have posed serious challenges to the effective delivery of values. This, he said, has led to the hiring of foreign media companies from South Africa to mobilise equipment and human expertises at huge costs.

Citing an example to buttress his point, he explained that it cost between N6 million and N10 million to effect a satellite connection and another N25 million to move equipment and pay for services rendered and added that with the availability of similar or even better equipment and skills in-country, this cost will significantly be reduced.

The WTS chief drew attention to the growing trend of advertising agencies and music producers to outsource the production of their television adverts and music to other countries that hitherto offered better equipment and skilled manpower and was certain that this would be a thing of the past owing to the superior equipment and expertise that WTS will bring to offer in its Nigeria operations

Also speaking on the operations of WTS in Nigeria, the Managing Director of the group, Mr. Ofir Mor, revealed that the company is launching its operations in Nigeria with the full compliment of WTS’ four subsidiaries, WTS Broadcast, C2-Systems, VE projects and East Side Studios to enable it deliver cutting edge services in the film production, live broadcast of political and sporting events, satellite transmission, sales and repair facilities of Outside Broadcasting (OB) vans and other studio equipment, game shows and talk shows production, systems design and software configuration, equipment sourcing, prefabrication and installation for television stations.

These, Mor said, is in line with the target of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) for an electronic media Digital Revolution by 2012.

“Our corporate desire is to provide alternative world class solutions where customers will have frequent access to locally available programmers and equipment for broadcast and transmission to their immediate environment at all times and at reasonable cost,” he said.