Digital switch over now on cruise control – lai mohammed

By Cecilia Ogezi, Abuja

The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has declared that the Digital Switch Over (DSO) process is now gathering momentum following the rollout of digital television in two states within 48 hours.

Speaking at the launch of the DSO in Kaduna, Kaduna State, yesterday, the minister said the rollout in Kaduna, coming two days after that of Kwara State, had confirmed that the transition from analogue to digital television was now back on track.

Until the digital television rollout resumed with the Kwara launch on Wednesday, the last DSO launch was in Abuja in December 2016. The minister, however, said the rollout would now continue with more pace.

According to him, ‘’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.

“We now have our two Signal Distributors in full operation mode, our aggregation platform for channels, FreeTV, is  fast becoming a household name. Our Set-Top-Box suppliers have started local production and we now have almost a million boxes supplied into the value chain.”

Mohammed congratulated the Signal Distributor for Kaduna State, Pinnacle Communications, saying it had achieved another milestone in the rebuilding of the nation’s television story.

He also commended all the stakeholders who are working round the clock to ensure the success of the transition from analogue to digital television across the country.

‘’The National Broadcasting Commission, the Signal Distributors, the Set Top Box manufacturers, Digiteam Nigeria and indeed all stakeholders are pulling all the stops to ensure that the DSO train continues unimpeded on its journey across the country. Thank you  all,’’ the minister said.

He said with the resumption of the DSO process, the focus will now shift to content production that will 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,’’ the minister stated.

The launch was witnessed by dignitaries including the Kaduna State

governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; his deputy, Arch. Bala Bantex; chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Senator Suleiman Adokwe and deputy chairman of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Hon. Lawal Anka as well as the directors-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Television Authority, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu and Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, respectively.

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