The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the Federal Government is back on track of rapid transition from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television broadcasting.
The Minister stated this on Friday at the launch of the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) in Kaduna.
He commended all stakeholders working round the clock to ensure the success of the transition from analogue to digital television across the country.
“Starting in Jos, Plateau state, in April 2016, the DSO train has now traversed Abuja, Ilorin and now Kaduna, its latest stop.
“At the launch of DSO in Ilorin on Wednesday, I did say that we are now back on track, and that we will henceforth embark on a rapid rollout of digital television across the country.
“The fact that we are here today confirms the veracity of that statement.
“Within the next few weeks, we will be rolling out in many more states as we seek to take the digital television experience to all the six Geo-political zones,” he said.
The Minister specifically commended the National Broadcasting Commission, the Signal Distributors, the Set Top Box manufacturers and the Digiteam for ensuring that the DSO train continued unimpeded .
Mohammed said emphasis should be placed on content production that would help to bolster the economy.
“By content here I refer to TV shows, sitcoms, documentaries, music videos, drama series, talent and reality shows etc.
“The challenge before us is to ensure that this becomes a profitable industry for our creative talent, entrepreneurs, advertising agencies, TV channels and Digital distributors,” he said.
The Minister said with the DSO, there would be over 200 channels and over a thousand organised production outfits looking to feed them with content.
He, therefore, called for infrastructure investment, in production destinations, with studios, graphic and sound hubs.
The Minister said there was the urgent need to grow the Advertising industry, being the “oil needed to make the Free TV’ environment thrive.
He called on the State Governors to support the process by procuring Set Top Boxes for those who could not afford it in their states.
Gov. Nasir elRufai of kaduna State called on the youths to take advantage of the initiative by contributing content to the platform.
He said the State governors were willing to support the process and key into the purchase of Set Top Boxes for their people but we’re challenged with fund.
The governor therefore called on the box manufacturers to design a method of payment over time for the boxes.
He disclosed that his government had made some provision for a seed money to purchase some of the boxes for the people in the 2018 budget.
The governor said he would use DSO to educate and empower farmers on agricultural extension services.
The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission Modibbo Kawu commended pinnacle Communications Ltd, the signal distributor for the Kaduna switch over.
He assured the commitment of his commission to a successful roll out Accra the states.
The Chairman of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh said the roll out in Ilorin and Kaduna were significant and milestone in the history of broadcasting In the country.
Momoh who is the Chairman of Channels Television said that DSO would improve spectrum efficiency and Andrea the challenges pose by payTV operators.
He however stressed that DSO could only work if the government was really willing to fund the process.
Chairman Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Sent. Suleiman Adoke said there were so much comment on DSO and the only way to respond was the consistent roll over.
The lawmaker said the National Assembly would support the process with clear legislation.
The Chairman of Pinnacle, Mr Lucky Omoluwa assured that, though the process of DSO might be slow a lot of work had been done to ensure its success.