By Tunde Oguntola and Solomon Akpan, Abuja
The federal government Thursday said the first Analogue Switch off (ASO) is slated to take place on 28 May, 2021 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
What this means according to the acting director general National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, on the occasion of the release of roll out time table for the Nigeria Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Abuja is that effective from the date of analogue switch-off, television broadcast can only be received with the DSO approved set-top boxes.
Idachaba said an adequate quantity of these boxes will be made available by the authorized set top box manufacturers for these locations.
He said two months from the release of the DSO timetable has been provided for the public to be prepared for the first switch off in Abuja.
“Analogue switch off for the remaining five locations in phase one is expected to be completed before the end of the year 2021. The remaining phase one states of Plateau, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu and Osun will follow in June, August and September 2021,” he said.
On his part, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed recall that he inaugurated the 14-member Ministerial Task Force on the Digital Switch Over (DSO).
He said the federal government will also support the channel owners and content providers through the implementation of the audience measurement system to guarantee a sustained stream of revenue from advertising for them to invest in the development of compelling content.
“In this regard, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has been directed to implement key policies to guarantee the advertising income of media houses by creating a healthy environment for the media outfits to operate. Very soon, APCON and NBC will sign an MoU on zero advertising debts to ensure that revenue from advertisers goes to the media owners,” he said.
On the price of the Set Top Boxes, or decoders if you like, without which no one can access the DTT and DTH signals, he said to ensure the affordability of the boxes, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will reach out to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure a reduction in the tariff on the raw materials for the manufacture of the Set Top Boxes in Nigeria.
He said it will aim at zero percent tariff for the Completely Knocked Down components and not more than 5 percent tariff for the Semi-Knocked Down component, against the current tariff of 5 percent for the Completely Knocked Down components and 10 percent for the Semi-Knocked Down components.
“By doing so, we will ensure that the Set Top boxes are within the reach of average Nigerians,” he said.