By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the success of Digital Switch Over (DSO) project – a transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting – is hinged on content.
The minister stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the 14-member Ministerial Task Force on DSO.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister on Feb. 23, inaugurated the task force to drive the DSO process in the remaining 31 states and targeted at creating over one million jobs in three years.
In his opening address at the meeting, Mohammed stressed that with the right content, the 24 million TV households in the country would embrace the project.
“Even the purchase of the Set Top Boxes (STB) by Nigerians will depend on the richness of the content offered.
“Before now, we either gave out the boxes free or at subsidised rates.
“But now that the project is being commercially-driven, the sale of STBs will depend on the content,” he said.
Specifically, the minister said in order to get Nigerians to buy into the project, sports, especially football and in particular the English Premiership and Champions League would be indispensable.
He added that entertainment, especially Nollywood/Kannywood movies; news, both local and international and children’s programme, including cartoons were also important.
Mohammed said they would also use the opportunity offered by the project to help popularise the local football league.
He said they would work with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to have their weekly matches shown live.
The minister underscored the need to ensure massive publicity for the project, contending that millions of Nigerians were still unaware of the true essence of the DSO and the opportunities therein.
“Recently, a newspaper article on the DSO said Nigerians will not be willing to buy STBs because of the cost.
“They have forgotten that the cost of the STB will be offset in the end by the non-payment for weekly or monthly subscription, which is a key selling point for the DSO.
“To prevent this kind of disinformation, we need to widely inform and educate
Nigerians on the project,” he said.
The minister thanked members of the task force for accepting to serve, adding that the success of the project rested on their shoulders, reminding them that they could not afford to fail. (NAN)