Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, says Nigeria will switch on digital broadcasting in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, by December under plans to meet the June 2017 deadline to migrate from analogue broadcasting.
The Minister dropped the hint during an inspection visit to Pinnacle Communications Ltd, one of the licensed signal distributors for the ongoing digital broadcasting migration saying that he wants to ascertain the level of preparation of all stakeholders to ensure a successful roll-out in Abuja.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]According to him, with about 24 million TV households in Nigeria and with proper marketing strategy and quality control, there will be a huge market for the Set Top Box manufacturers in the country.[/quote]“We are very much on track, but I think it’s important to understand what the Digital Switch Over entails. It entails that all the component actors be ready. Here is the signal distributor and we are quite impressed that before the end of November, this facility will be ready to distribute signals to the entire FCT,” the Minister said after inspecting the company’s factory at Asokoro and Mpape.
Mohammed says that the Abuja launch is the most ambitious project so far in the DSO after the Jos pilot carried out successfully earlier this year, because of the strategic location as the nation’s capital.
The Minister commended the patriotism of the Chairman of Pinnacle Communication Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, whom he says had remained focused on the project despite the initial hiccup that almost derailed the DSO.
The Minister was conducted round the site by the Project Manager, Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa, who briefed the Minister about the structures that are being put in place as well as how signals will be distributed in the FCT, adding that the whole of Abuja will be covered.
Bolarinwa also informed the Minister that the mast installed for the project was of 120 meters, adding that the mast will be ready and by the coming week, installation of equipment will start as well as technical test transmission.
While welcoming the Minister and his team, Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, thanked him for the opportunity accorded the company to be one of the Signal distributors for the Digital Switch Over and as well handle the Abuja DSO. He also said that the Company was 100% ready for the DSO.
The Minister also thanked the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications for putting Nigeria first in ensuring that pending issues were resolved between the company and the NBC, and noted that the visit was to inspect and examine the equipment procured by the company ahead of the Abuja DSO “in order to access the level of preparedness.”
The Minister also visited Trefonics Electronics Ltd, one of the licenced Set-Top- Boxes manufactures, located in the industrial layout in the Federal Capital Territory, to inspect the manufacturing of Set-Top-Boxes. At the complex of Trefonics, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the Set Top Box manufacturing process.
“The first Set Top Boxes were actually imported but there is a proviso in the award letters that consequently, every licenced manufacturer will have to manufacture his products here and we are happy that Trefonics is doing exactly that,” he said.
According to him, with about 24 million TV households in Nigeria and with proper marketing strategy and quality control, there will be a huge market for the Set Top Box manufacturers in the country.
He expressed optimism that the DSO would revolutionize broadcasting in Nigeria, thereby unleashing the creative potentials of youths and creating one million jobs in three years.