The Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Mr Is’haq Kawu, has said that NBC’s mission is to switch off analogue completely when Nigeria has achieved up to 95 per cent access to Free Digital Television content across the country.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, he said: “All Nigerians are entitled to access to information, irrespective of class, creed or location. The new technology of digital broadcasting is already enhancing access in a revolutionary manner. That will soon become a nationwide experience for all Nigerians. We remain optimistic that by the end of the year, at least half of the country will have access to Free Digital Television content,” the DG disclosed.
The June 17, 2017 Digital Switchover deadline, Modibbo said, is a benchmark date for the digital switchover in Nigeria. “Many have misconstrued the process, assuming that on that date, almost like a magic wand, Nigerians would wake up to find that we have switched off analogue and switched on digital television, all over our country. Our timeline plan is to execute a phased implementation of six states, at a period. So as we conclude the six states currently in progress, we would choose another set of six states, reflecting the geo-political zones, for the next phase, until the entire country is covered.”
In respect of a specific switchover date, the DG said he believes that the countries of the ECOWAS sub-region would re-assess the issue, given that all member countries have not met the June switchover deadline. He said the delicate nature of the DSO process has always obliged countries to carefully manage the process to avoid problems, and that most countries of the world have had to adjust their switch off dates.
To accelerate the progress of work, we are engaging with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, so that the states can partner with us, especially in the procurement of Set-Top-Boxes as well as critical assistance for the installation of transmission systems by our signal distributors.