The federal government has launched Digital Switch-over (DSO), a switch from analogue television to digital television, in Kano State.
The DSO delivered with the brand name “FreeTV,” signifies the transition from analogue to digital television across the country.
LEADERSHIP reports that the first phase of DSO rollout was held in Jos, Abuja, Ilorin, Kaduna, Enugu, and Osogbo between April 2016 and February 2018, while the second phase of the rollout of DSO has so far been held in Lagos and Kano States.
Speaking at the launch in Kano yesterday, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the federal government is prioritizing the DSO project because it is critical to the post-COVID recovery and prosperity of the creative industry.
Mohammed stressed that no meaningful DSO Project can happen unless Set-Top-Boxes or decoders are widely available and affordable, and some channels catering for children’s programmes, sports, and religion are encouraged to thrive.
According to him, ‘’For Kano State in particular, with a population of over 15 million people, governance will be revolutionised if each of the 2.4 million television households can have a set-top-box.
‘’At the same time, it is necessary to ensure a reliable supply of low-cost STBs for purchase by the general public. I want to use this opportunity to implore state governments to be at the vanguard of providing set-top-boxes to their people.’’
On his part, Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said the movement from analogue set up was apt.
He said the launch speaks of the reality of what is in vogue, considering the fact that global technology is a fundamental and critical deliverable of the government.
‘’We in Kano, therefore, are committed to fully support the DSO project as it will enhance job creation, content development, job opportunities for youths and many businesses, especially those in the entertainment and tourism industry, and also provide many immense benefits to residents,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the director general of the National Broadcasting Commission, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, said the DSO in Kano and Nigeria at large would also help to checkmate signals straying into Nigeria from neighbouring countries and its attendant possible security implications.
He said in a baseline study carried out by the National Broadcasting Commission in 2017, Kano State had about 12,882,030 projected population, 2,147,005 households, and 1.6 million projected number of television viewing homes.