By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has said all is now set for the launch of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting in Abuja on Thursday.
He announced this in Abuja on Monday during the tour of key facilities of Pinnacle Communication Limited, the signal distribution for the Abuja DSO.
“We are impressed by the speed, commitment and passion of Pinnacle to this project and we have come here to ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure smooth Digital Switch Over in Abuja on Thursday,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said 30 free channels will be available for Abuja residents upon the switch over on Thursday and that over 450,000 Set-Top Boxes have been provided for the flag-off.
“It’s a revolution in the broadcasting ecosystem as far as Nigeria is concerned because not only are we going to have better clarity and audio but the average resident of FCT who is in possession of our Set-Top Box will have 30 free channels from news, entertainment, music….This is going to open a new vista for content,” he said.
The Minister expressed confidence that within 3 years of the digital transition, 1 million jobs will be created in the development of television content, technical services, software development, as well as the installation and repair of Set-Top Boxes for over 24 million TV households, among others.
The Minister said even though the Digital Switch Over will not take place in one fell swoop across the country, the Federal Government remains resolute in its commitment to meeting the 2017 deadline for the DSO.
Also speaking at the Call Centre of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), he said the government is equally concerned about customers’ satisfaction, which informed the setting up of the Call Centre where subscribers can call to make inquiries or complaints for prompt response.
Mr Mohammed, who was accompanied by the NBC Director General, Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, and the Chairman of DIGITEAM Nigeria, Mr. Edward Amana, inspected facilities at the Monitoring Room, Transmission Station and the Call Centre.
The pilot scheme of the DSO was launched in Jos, Plateau State, on 30 April 2016.
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