The director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, has said that the Commission was committed to a timely and efficient completion of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project across the country as it will create a people-centered information society which will connect underserved populations and remote communities in Nigeria and hence provide inclusion for all and sundry.
Speaking at the launch of the DSO in Kano on Tuesday, November 2, Malam Ilehah said NBC was keying into the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to democratise information in digital broadcasting, empower the people and create millions of jobs along the value chain.
“Three days ago,100 artisans from the 44 Local councils were trained on FreeTV dealership, installation and activation,” Ilelah said.
He said the beneficiaries are Kano state indigenes being empowered to take up the task of dealership, installation and activation of the set-top boxes in the homes, and those who end up as dealers may engage more hands to work with them which is in tandem with the vision of President Buhari on job creation.
Also speaking at the Kano DSO launch, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “the key benefits of digital television broadcasting are wider choice in TV and radio channels, improved picture quality, for example, High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD), high-fidelity sound, greater flexibility with the potential for portable and mobile reception, enhancedinformation services including the electronic programming guide or enhanced ‘teletext’ services, potential for interactivity and increased market competition.
“We have also instituted a number of reforms, some of them necessitating amendments to the broadcasting code which we have since carried out, with a view to encouraging investments in the broadcast industry in particular and the creative industry in general,” the Minister said.
LEADERSHIP reports that a digital switch over is the migration of television broadcast technology from analogue to digital system. Kano is the second state in the phase two of the DSO rollout after Lagos in April this year.
With Plateau state pioneering the DSO in Nigeria, other states that followed phase one rollout plan were Kaduna, Enugu, Kwara, Osun, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Commenting further, Mohammed said: “I want to use this opportunity to implore state governments to be at the vanguard of providing set-top boxes to their people. This is because the provision of set-top boxes is a social service that will take governance to the grassroots and bridge the information gap between the government and the governed, among other advantages,” adding that, “for Kano state in particular, with a population of over 15 million people,governance will be revolutionised if each of the 2.4million television households can have a set-top box.”
Host governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, said his administration has studied the DSO and has identified areas it could use to promote digital technology in broadcasting.
With the Federal Government determined to achieve a nationwide coverage of the digital switchover, the NBC has listed Rivers State in the South-South as the next in line to enjoy the new experience in broadcast content consumption that the digital broadcasting technology offers.