ENUGU—FOLLOWING the federal government’s launch of the Digital Switch-over, DSO, from analogue to digital television broadcasting in Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration in keeping with its rural development agenda, has procured 10,000 set top boxes for distribution, free of charge, to identified low income households across the 475 autonomous communities of the state.
Speaking at the ceremony, which took place at the zonal headquarters of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Enugu, Ugwuanyi stated that the procurement was to enable less economically-endowed families in the rural areas have access to more television channels in line with the inherent benefits of the new innovation in the broadcast industry.
The governor further stated that his administration also took the decision because of the significant cost of digital cut-over on the consumer who will have to source for set top boxes that will enable their analogue televisions to receive new digital signals.
Ugwuanyi disclosed that the state government was delighted to “fully support the digitization process, which he said “will dramatically increase the number of channels available to Enugu TV viewers, expand and deepen educational content available to our children, drastically reduce the cost of deploying and managing our costly state television infrastructure, and ultimately improve the IGR of our local governments.
”As a state, we are fully conscious of possible discomfort that economically challenged families will face when they experience disruption in accessing free-to-air television.”
This, in our judgment, is the major reason the federal government has committed to produce and subsidize 10-million set top boxes for distribution to poor households in Nigeria.”
We are keen to encourage the federal government to make good this promise so that this unique service will be available to most Nigerians especially the rural poor. As a government, we have intervened on behalf of our people by purchasing ten thousand (10,000) set top boxes which will be distributed free of charge to identified low income households in our rural areash, the governor announced.
Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed delight that Enugu is now the number five in the country to cutover to digital television broadcasting after Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Plateau, Kwara and Kaduna states, adding that the state also has the distinction of being the first in the entire southern Nigeria.
The governor commended the federal government, especially the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for the resolute manner they have pursued the digital switch-over agenda despite the daunting challenges, stressing that gthere is every reason to support the switchover from analogue to digital television broadcastingh.
In his address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, thanked the governor for his presence at the event despite the short notice, noting that Enugu is the third state the federal government has launched the Digital Switch-over in the last two months.
The minister emphasized the need for an objective and scientific audience measurement that would provide confidence among the people through the digitalization of television broadcasting in the country, urging Nigerians to support the on-going revolution in the industry.
Also speaking, the Director General of NBC, Mallam Isfhaq Modibbo Kawu, who described Enugu as a remarkable city under the present administration in the state, stated that the federal government was making the transition from analogue broadcasting to digital a reality, stressing that the benefits are enormous as the viewers will gradually appreciate the vision behind the initiative.
While congratulating the new traditional ruler on his “well-deserved” election and receipt of his Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office, Gov. Ugwuanyi assured the Igwe and the entire people of the community that his administration will give them the needed support and attention to ensure that they benefit fully from the rural development agenda of the state government.
The governor, therefore, urged the members of the community to give the traditional ruler, who is the father of the Chairman of Enugu State Internal Revenue Service, Prince Emeka Odo,
maximum support and remain peaceful, united and fully committed to the rapid development of the community in particular and the state in general.
Also at the event, the governor was conferred with a chieftancy tittle of ‘Anyanwu na Ehalumona’ by all the traditional rulers in Ehalumona clan in recognition of his good works in the state.