By Demola Akinyemi
The stage is set for the rollout of the Digitial Switch Over (DSO) in Kwara State, following the inspection visit to the facilities of the Integrated Television Services (ITS), a Signal Distributor, in Ilorin on Friday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The Minister led a team that included the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, and the Chairman of Digiteam Nigeria, Mr. Edward Amana, to the ITS’ facilities to assess the readiness for the rollout.
Following the inspection, the chairman of Digiteam said: “We are ready to take off in Ilorin. We have seen the installation and what was lacking before has been rectified. There is some level of redundancy now built into the transmission system.”
Mr. Amana said at the moment there are 27 channels in the bouquet and that anyone with a Set-Top Box could access the channels within the coverage area of the transmitter in Ilorin.
He said the Digiteam was working with the Signal Distributor to construct transmission stations, similar to the one in Ilorin, in Patigi and Kaiama in order to have a total signal coverage of the whole of Kwara State.
According to him, “we require a total of three sites to be able to effectively cover Kwara State and the plan is that structures similar to the one we have in Ilorin will be replicated in Patigi and Kaiama. When Patigi and Kaiama are up, then we can confidently say the whole of Kwara State will be covered and there will be spillover to the neighbouring state of Niger,” the Digiteam Chairman said
In his remarks, the Minister said the visit was to ascertain the level of preparedness for the launch of the DSO in Kwara State and the quality of facilities on the ground.
“We are here to have a first-hand inspection of the level of readiness for the Digital Switch Over for Kwara State. I am sure you have heard, over the last couple of months, the cacophony of voices as to the readiness or otherwise and the standard or otherwise of the equipment in Ilorin. So I have come here with the Chairman of Digiteam, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission and the General Manager of ITS to see for ourselves whether this station is ready for commissioning or not,” he said.
Earlier, the General Manager of ITS, Mr. Rotimi Salami, had conducted the Minister and his delegation round the transmission station and the control room. The DSO was launched in Jos, Plateau State, in April 2016 and was also rolled out in the Federal Capital Territory in December 2016.
Kwara is one of the six states earmarked for the next phase of the DSO rollout. Others are Osun, Delta, Kaduna, Gombe and Enugu States.