June 14, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

NEC backs digital switch over

By Chijioke OKoronkwo

The National Economic Council (NEC) has declared its support for Nigeria’s effort at digital switch over.

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State disclosed this after a virtual NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Ganduje said that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made a presentation to NEC on the Digital Switch Over(DSO) update on free TV.

“Council was called to note that as instructed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Nigeria must switch off analog and go digital.

“The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the DSO Ministerial Taskforce are tasked with ensuring that Nigeria digitalises and developing public information and awareness campaign to inform citizens about DSO/Free TV.

“For the regulator, that is on revenue generation–potential of N20 billion annually;  funds will enable the NBC to support and upgrade DSO initiatives and fund local producers.’’

On progress so far made, he said that there were 200 plus registered retailers.

He listed the launch states as Lagos, Kano and Rivers.

“ Lagos State overview– over 30 non terrestrial channels will be available.

“Kano State overview– over 20 non terrestrial channels will be available; Rivers overview–over 30 non terrestrial channels will be available.’’

The governor said that set top boxes distribution strategy was also discussed.

He said that about 60 per cent of the boxes would be distributed to state government employees either via sales or through their respective cooperatives with 12 to 18 months repayment option.

“30 per cent of the total boxes will be directly distributed to the mass market via the traditional and retail channel of free TV show room in the higher point of sales outlets.

“Key benefits: 60 free to view channels, this will increase free TV products and competitiveness in the market when compared with the likes of Startimes and GoTV.

“The increase in the channel capacity will also open up more opportunities for the content creators attracting additional investment into the industry; it makes easier for the new entrants in the media industry.

“Finally, the council welcomed the report and supports the digital switch over,’’ he said. (NAN)

%d bloggers like this: