The Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu has revealed that both logistics and technical experiences garnered from city to city Digital Switch Over (DSO) is emboldening the train at the agency to push harder and faster.
In his address of welcome at the inauguration of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) broadcasting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on Wednesday, he averred that “The pilot phase of the DSO in Plateau state, in April 2016, taught all of us in the process, a lot of lessons. And we took those lessons on board, in the effort to carry out the launch in Abuja, on December 22nd, 2016.
“And it was the combination of the experiences from Plateau State and the FCT that emboldened us, to take the decision to carry out the DSO, in six states: Kwara; Kaduna; Osun; Delta; Enugu and Gombe. This is to represent a state from each of the geo-political zones of our dear country.
He said “Kwara state is particularly unique, amongst the first six states chosen for this switchover, because it is a state with a relatively old broadcasting culture; but it is also a state that shares an international boundary with the Republic of Benin. It therefore offers us the opportunity to test the process of DSO, in a state an international boundary”.
Tracing the origin of the mission to the emerging nationwide DSO, Modibbo Kawu recalled that “When we commenced the switchover from analogue to digital television in Nigeria, just over a year ago, the NBC; DIGITEAM NIGERIA and all our stakeholders: Signal Distributors; Content Providers; Middleware Provider; Set Top Box Manufacturers; Content Aggregator; and Call Centre Operators, were working together for the first time, to provide the practical experience of what a real digital switchover was like. It was a pioneering endeavour for all of us; and even in the midst of the inevitable controversies, that trailed the effort, I feel delighted that we have arrived at the point where we can report to the Nigerian people, that the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting has finally found the traction that would lead to the delivery of the process, for the benefit of our country”.
Continuing, NBC boss noted that “The new Digital Terrestrial Television project is an impressive technical feat; but more importantly, it is a platform that has a national security imperative. The Federal Government envisages that in the long run, digital television will offer a major platform to create new jobs for the Nigerian economy, through the direct jobs that will come from employment to be generated, by our various stakeholders. It would also be the platform for the creation of new Nigerian television content of all genres, by a new generation of Nigerian content providers. Television will become a 24-hour fare, and 70% of that content is expected to be local content. This makes this new process a major development for our country”.
Earlier in his Keynote address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said with the gradual but steady switch-on of Nigerian cities, job opportunities’ capable of growing to the worth of over $400m investments are underway.
He said “With the adequate content development and other value added services, the ongoing economic diversification of the federal government will enjoy a smooth ride to consolidation of growth and best TV viewing experince for Nigerians”.