By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja
The federal government said yesterday that the Digital Switch Over (DSO) being put in place will create 800,000 jobs.
According to the government, the Digital Switch Over will be rolled out soon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this during an interactive session with the senate committee on Information and National Orientation with the 13 Member Ministerial Task Force on DSO project.
Explaining how the project would create job opportunities for Nigerians, the minister said that the manufacturing of set top boxes or decoders alone was capable of creating 50,000 jobs, while television production could create 200,000 jobs.
He said, “Film production can generate 350 to 400,000 jobs. Distribution, which entails supplying the market with set top boxes, TVs and Dongles for the internet, will require at least 100,000 wholesalers. Advertising can create a further 50,000 jobs.”
Explaining how the DSO will commence, Mohammed said, “We are kick-starting the new roll out in Lagos State on April 29, Kano on June 3 and Rivers State on July 8.
“We will then follow up with Yobe State on July 15 and Gombe State on August 12. So far, we have rolled out the DSO in five states and Abuja,” he said.
He also explained that the DSO had gone live in the Federal Capital Territory, Kwara, Kaduna Enugu and Osun states.
According to him, the ministry considers the DSO as one of its priority projects, given its potential to create jobs, bring governance closer to the people through better access to information and provide quality programming to Nigeria’s estimated 24 million television households, with high fidelity pictures and sound.
“Without mincing words, let me say straight away that for us, the DSO is about stimulating local content and empowering platform owners,” he said.
He disclosed that the ministry had taken some steps to create the enabling environment for the DSO to succeed, for local content to thrive, for indigenous producers to be more engaged and for the local advertising market to grow.
He also revealed that the federal government had carried out an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry, given the nexus between the reforms and success of the DSO.
“It will interest you to know that to date, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has licensed over 30 Nigerian pay tv companies, but only 1 is currently struggling to break through, this is not acceptable,” the minister said.