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NBC Kawu Modibbo

DSO: FG excited over Pinnacle Communications deal with Gates Air group in US

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Relief for possible delivery of Nigeria’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) in a record time after three failed deadlines may be underway in the United States of America (USA).

This is coming on heels of a recent visit by the entourage of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Members of the delegation include the Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and House of Representative Committee chairman on DSO, Hon. Sunday Katung.

Business Hilights recalls that Pinnacle Communications Limited (PCL) is one of the Signal Distributions in the ongoing DSO and has worked for the successful delivery of DSO in Jos and Abuja.

Details gathered by our correspondent showed that PCL is partnering with the US based signal transmission equipment manufacturer, Gates Air to deliver needed DSO infrastructure for the effective coverage of the country in the emerging phase of rollout beginning with six select states; one from each geo-political zones.

The first set of states coming on board very soon include Kaduna, Kwara, Delta, Enugu, Gombe and Osun.

Expressing delight on the level of the partnership and massive production of equipment at the Gates Air factory site in Quincy, US, during a meeting with the executives of company, the Minister said the switch over from analogue to digital television is ‘’irreversible’’ because the DSO is a ‘’game changer’’ that will bring immense benefits to Nigerians and help the government to achieve one of its cardinal goals, which is the diversification of the economy.

Alhaji Mohammed made it clear that his meeting with the US Company, further confirms the government’s commitment to the project, and stressed that “The DSO is very important to this administration, because of the limitless potentials that it represents”.

“For us as a government, DSO goes beyond just receiving digital transmission but an avenue to create jobs and ignite the huge creative potentials of our youths. It is also a solution to some of the intractable problems affecting the creative industry, including piracy and distribution.

Continuing, elated Mohammed averred that “Seeing some of the equipment being shipped to Nigeria for the DSO project has reinforced our belief in the ability of Pinnacle Communications Limited (one of the two signal distributors for the project) to meet its roll-out targets”.

In his remarks, Katung, the House Committee boos on DSO noted that he is in Quincy, home of the 95-year-old Gates Air, as part of efforts to ensure that the DSO process goes smoothly.

While describing PCL and Gates Air as reliable partners in the nation’s DSO drive, he argued that “We seem to be heading in the right direction, after several misses, and I can now confidently speak on the project when I return to Nigeria”.

Earlier in his comments, the DG of NBC, Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu assured that the DSO project will be delivered on a modern platform because of the wonderful partnership involving the Ministry of Information and Culture, the NBC and the signal distributors.

Business Hilights recalls that he had, earlier this month explained during a press conference in Lagos that the inability to meet the June 17, deadline cannot be unconnected with paucity of funds and the desire of the agency to be very careful to avoid past mistakes.

At the conference, he was silent in giving another deadline for the DSO but hinted that the ECOWAS sub-region will soon meet to look at ways of working out a solution from where a new deadline may emerge for the region.

It would be recalled that June 17, 2017 was the third failed deadline in a row beginning with 2012 and 2015.


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