Mr. Simon Lalong, Plateau State Governor says he is happy over the choice of Jos, the state capital to flag off the pilot scheme of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) for the broadcast industry by the Federal Government.
The State Governor, who said this during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, promised the support of his government in actualizing Nigeria’s digital crossover by June 2017.
“We look forward to the pilot take off of this project on the Plateau. I want to assure you that we will do all within our means to support this project and also to help so that Nigerians will have the benefit of this programme,” Lalong said.
His initial fear when the nation failed to meet the DSO target on two occasions is now allayed by the renewed commitment of the current administration to the realization of the project, he said.
According to the Governor, “I also count it a blessing to be part of this historic moment. I was looking forward to its realization when it came up this year and I was reading in the newspapers some problems with the issue. I was also on my knees praying that it will not affect the initial exercise but today to God’s glory it is confirmed that it is going to happen.”
He expressed the confidence that with Alhaji Mohammed in the saddle, the digitization project will definitely succeed.
The Minister had earlier told Governor Lalong that the Federal Government will flag off the pilot scheme of the digital crossover in Jos in April this year, noting that Plateau State was chosen because of its pioneering role in TV broadcasting in Nigeria.
“I must say that Plateau State is a trailblazer in many ways. This is the state where colour television was first premiered, and now it is the same state that is hosting the pilot project of our digital television switch over. Our ability to meet the 2017 deadline depends largely on the success of the pilot project; hence Plateau is key to successfully achieving a digital switch over in Nigeria. I congratulate the Governor and the entire people of the state for shouldering this enormous responsibility,” according to the Minister.
According to him, “in the area of Signal Distribution Service jobs, the broadcast signal distributors will generate new jobs for Nigerian youths. The NBC has licensed the required signal distributors for Nigeria in line with Government Policy on DSO.
”There is no doubt that as they continue to expand their operations, starting from Jos to various locations across the country during the digital switchover of the various cities in Nigeria, new employees will come on board to man their equipment and run their facilities.”
The Minister was in Jos to meet with all stakeholders involved in the DSO and to inspect the transmission facilities preparatory to the launch of the pilot scheme next month.