The State Department of the United States, is financing a new 24-hour satellite TV channel in the north to counter insurgencies by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, as well as other groups in the region, The New York Times reports.
An official for the United States confirmed the project was under way but did not disclose full details.
The official however said the US would “support Nigerian efforts to provide an attractive alternative to the messaging of violent extremists.”
The new television channel to be called Arewa24 is financed by the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism. It is expected to cost about $6million. Arewa means north in Hausa language.
Equal Access International, a San Francisco-based government contractor will run the project. The establishment has managed programs by the department in Yemen, and Pakistan.The New York Times states the project however faces several challenges in a region with low levels of infrastructures, public service, literacy, and security. Access to electricity is limited and a few people own television sets. The project will also provide training to journalists in the north.