Following the adoption of the recommendations of the House of Representatives Committee ad hoc committee which investigated the Process of Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Ministry of Information have been mandated to develop a new National Media Content Policy for Digital TV era, covering a media content Master Plan.
On the manufacturing of Set Top Box for the operation of the switch over era, the House asked the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to monitor compliance with standards, “to avoid a situation where the country is turned into a dumping ground for sub-standard and obsolete equipment.”
Another key provision of the approved report is the amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission Act to strengthen its regulatory duties and “develop a standard regulatory documentation for digital broadcasting, as contained in the White Paper report.”
The lawmakers further recommended the withdrawal of the licences awarded to manufacturers to produce the boxes if they fail to establish plants in the country within a given time.
In the wisdom of the House, the idea of establishing plants in the country was to generate employment opportunities for its army of unemployed youths.
The Hon, Sunday Katun led Ad Hoc Committee also adopted the thorough supervision of the ongoing implementation of the DSO in phases and directed that “at least 80 per cent of an assigned state” should be covered before moving to another state.
Lawmakers further directed that “analogue broadcasting should not be switched off until 95 per cent DSO coverage is achieved in the country.”
Industry experts who barred their thoughts on the provisions of the adopted recommendations said the document will go a long way in consolidating the emerging narrative in TV experience in Nigeria.
They also hailed the seriousness of NBC in driving DSO so far and called on the federal government to provide the needed funding for the success of the scheme so that the entire country would be covered in record time.