As the 2015 date for nations to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting approaches, the federal government plans to have 20 million set top boxes manufactured locally by 2015 through technology companies.
Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson in a speech setting out the roadmap the Ministry of Communications technology intends to implement, said the government was wooing foreign and local companies to invest in the digital TV set-top boxes production.
Noting that every single television in this country would have a set top box which would be used to receive digital signals that would be transmitted on television, she said that there would be opportunities to manufacture at least 20 million Set Top boxes when this process starts, adding that for Nigeria to grow, it needs to start manufacturing digital devices locally.
“I don’t believe that we should make the same mistakes again we made in the past. We are partnering with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to encourage and incentivise companies, both those established inside and outside Nigeria to take advantage of the coming digital migration because there will be a need for industries that manufacture Set Top boxes.
“We are also partnering with the Ministry of Labour to ensure that we have the right labour laws and practices to encourage companies in Nigeria and those outside Nigeria that want to manufacture these boxes to do so.
We have about 90 million subscribers and that means that we have at least over 50 million telephones in circulation in Nigeria today and not one single device is manufactured in Nigeria.
She said, “Every single one is imported into this country and this gives us an opportunity to create an industry round device manufacturing that will meet the demand for devices in the country. We have challenges of infrastructure, power and all of that, but we can do it. We see companies in Nigeria like Zinox and Omatek that manufacture despite these challenges. And we see an opportunity to create a bigger industry because we have a very large domestic market for devices in the country.”