The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday, fulfilled its promise by switching on Enugu State to join the FCT, Jos, Kwara and Kaduna States, in the emerging global digital model of watching television.
In his welcome address, the Director General of NBC, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, said with the witch on, “The people of Enugu state will now join their counterparts in Jos, the FCT, Kwara and Kaduna States, in this new way of watching television. We commenced the pilot phase of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Jos, Plateau State in 2016; in that initial, pilot phase, we experimented with a multiplex of 15 broadcast channels, which were well-received by the people in Jos.
According to him, “That phase of the DSO taught us vital lessons, about working with several stakeholders in the delivery of the new process. These are DIGITEAM Nigeria; the Signal Distributors; Content Providers; the Set Box Manufacturers; the Content Aggregator; Call Center Operator and the Middleware provider. It was also a process that had to be carried out with thorough and saturation publicity! The experience gathered from the pilot phase of the DSO, in Jos, taught us very important lessons”.
NBC boss averred that growing experience with each launch emboldened the Commission sufficiently to take the decision, to launch in six states; each representing the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. We launched at the end of last year in Kwara and Kaduna States.
Kawu also noted that “And as we deepen its processes, there are valuable add-ons such as Video-on-Demand (VoD); internet facilities; interactivity; Electronic Program Guide and including the vital process of audience measurement, that will spike advertisement spend in the broadcasting industry and others, that our viewers will become used to”.
“The Broadcasting value chain will be enhanced, not only in terms of viewing experience but also, and very crucially, as a platform of enhancement of creativity and the opening up of the vistas of new jobs for the Nigerian economy. As we have all become increasingly aware, Nigeria is the hub of African television, creativity and entertainment.
“Today, Nigerian Content has become the greatest cultural export that is influencing popular culture all over Africa, and the African Diaspora. These experiences will get an even greater fillip with the accesses that digital broadcasting will open up. The opportunity has arrived for the presentation of new generations of a Nigerian Content, able to present the rich tapestry that is Nigerian culture, and the multiplicity of our identities! Digital Broadcasting will help tell our stories; it will give us the platform to interrogate our existence; it will offer us the opportunity to know ourselves even better.
He said as Nigeria’s population reaches 193million, and a median age of 17.9 years, these value reinforcing possibilities of digital broadcasting become ever more imperative.
NBC revealed that the Signal Distributor for the Enugu State is Integrated Television Services (ITS); one of the two Signal Distributors licensed by the Nigerian Government for the DSO.
He revealed that by the 23rd of February, “We will also move to Osun State. This round of launches will be concluded in Delta and Gombe states. And we have also commenced the preliminary process for the next set of six states, which would follow. It means that gradually, we are making the transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting, a reality in Nigeria”.