President Muhammadu Buhari will Thursday launch the Abuja phase of Digital Switch Over (DSO), signaling the commencement of the full roll-out of digital broadcasting across the federal capital city.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had given Nigeria up to June 2017 to switch from analogue broadcasting to digital, and there have apprehensions of Nigeria not meeting the deadline.
But speaking at a press conference in Abuja Wednesday, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Is'haq Modibbo Kawu said Nigeria is at the point of embarkation towards the switch off of analogue signals and the switch on of digital signals.
"Tomorrow Thursday the 22nd of December, 2016 the President and Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will launch the roll out of the transition from Analogue to Digital broadcasting in the FCT", Malam Kawu said.
The NBC DG said over one million direct and indirect jobs are expected across the country from the digital switch over.
He said President Buhari had underscored the jobs creation potentials of the Digital Switch Over, and the central place of Nigeria's talented young people in the digital economy.
He disclosed that about 200,000 Set Top Boxes have been distributed at the various distribution centres across Abuja, adding that an additional 450,000 would be distributed from Thursday.
He said each set-top-box would be sold at subsidized rate of N1,500 while a TV viewer would pay additional N1000 annually for TV licence fee.
He commended the efforts of Pinnacle Communications who are the Signal Distributor for the Abuja project.
"Pinnacle has worked tirelessly and invested massively in getting the transmission infrastructure on ground for this roll out. We salute their patriotism,” he said.
He added: "The journey to this date has been a long but rewarding one. As you are aware, we launched the pilot phase of the DSO in Jos on the 30th of April 2016. In Jos we launched with 15 channels and the Signal Distributor Company ITS (Integrated Television Services) took up the challenge of Signal Distribution.
"Since then the people of Jos have continued to enjoy Digital TV Services, a service for which I am sure they are grateful to the Federal Government.
"It is our belief that the transition has brought about renewed entertainment, education and potential economic opportunities for the people of the Plateau, and indeed Nigeria.
"As we move to Abuja, we are committed to increase the status. We shall be offering 30 television channels in Abuja, these will cover entertainment, sports, News, movies etc."
The NBC boss also said 30 new channels would be enjoyed by Abuja TV viewers, "but there are currently 28 channels running on two multiplexes of the signal distributor."
He said field strength test had indicated that the signals were covering most parts of the FCT and that viewers with activated boxes could receive signal.
"Let me say however that those with low signals in their areas will need external antennas that will give them clear signals. The 30 channel operators on the Abuja Roll out have been trained and sensitized on the management of the channels", he said.
Viewers, he said, could call NBC call centre operators and receive services or have their boxes activated.
"At the National Broadcasting Commission, we would like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the incredible leadership he has provided for the digital revolution in Nigeria. Mister President has consistently stressed the importance of the digital economy to the overall economic development of Nigeria. It was pursuant to that vision that he gave complete support to the work we are doing to achieve the Digital Switchover in Abuja, and all over Nigeria", Malam Kawu said.
source: Daily trust
source: Daily trust