Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture,Tuesday inaugurated a Committee on Digital Switch Over (DSO) to ensure Nigeria meets June 2017 migration deadline from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Members of the inter-Ministerial Committee include representatives of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Nigerian Communications Commission, National Broadcasting Commission, DigiTeam Nigeria, Set-Top Box manufacturers, Signal Distributors, CCNL and Television Enterprises (TVE), the broadcasting industry regulator announced.
At the inauguration on Tuesday in Abuja on Tuesday the Minister says that Nigeria, along with all ECOWAS member countries, will be transiting from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2017.
“We don’t have an option; we must meet the 2017 deadline. Otherwise, our TV sets will be useless to us. We cannot afford to be left behind,” he told the committee that also have representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture as well as that of Trade and Investment, Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Customs Service at the inauguration.[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]”We don’t have an option; we must meet the 2017 deadline. Otherwise, our TV sets will be useless to us. We cannot afford to be left behind” Lai Mohammed says.[/quote]
“The significant thing about this deadline is that as of today we have agreed with all other ECOWAS member states that June 2017 will be the cut-off line for all of us to move to Digital. To that effect, uniform equipment and transmission channels have been agreed for all the member states” the Minister says reminding the Committee that failure to meet the deadline would amount to violating an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Treaty, which Nigeria and other ECOWAS nations have ratified.
Nigeria has already recorded some progress towards meeting the deadline, having licensed signal distributors and 13 Set-Top-Box Manufacturers, in addition to reaching agreement with the Content Aggregators as well as software companies, according to Mohammed.
Jos has also been selected for the Pilot Project, a choice based on the historical role of the city in the transition from black and white to colour television in Nigeria, its mix of local, regional and national television stations as well as its cosmopolitan nature, the Minister adds.
The successful DSO will free spectrums for broadband Internet; make available between 30 and 40 Free-To-Air television stations; allow easier collection of Radio and TV taxes by local governments and stimulate job creation through the local manufacture of Set-Top-Boxes and contents provision, according to government.