The Nigerian Government on Thursday formally launched the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Television Broadcasting in the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
A rather colourful ceremony was held to mark the official migration from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting in the capital city.
Representing President Muhammadu Buhari was the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who remarked that the digitization exercise is the threshold of very interesting times in the history of the country.
He said this is following up on the successful launch of the DSO in Jos earlier this year, just as he confirmed that same launch across the rest of the country is in full gear and to commence switch off.
He reiterated the Government’s unwavering commitment to meeting the set deadline of June 2017 for the analogue to digital switch over here in Nigeria.
In his welcome address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the objective is not just to move customers and Nigerians from analogue to digital in a simple technical sense, but to ensure a total overhaul of the whole TV watching experience and the economy around it.
He insisted that the digitization process is expected to help diversify Nigeria’s economy by properly exploiting the great talent and creative human and natural resources, creating tens of thousands of jobs through Technical, Production and Manufacturing opportunities ‘which we strongly believe are second to none in Africa.’
“Set-Top Box assembling and ultimately manufacturing is an irreversible mandate by the government to the industry. We expect this to extend very quickly to local Smart TV and Tablet manufacturing.
“With our strong consumer base, we can quickly become the supplier of these equipment to the whole of West Africa. As we speak, jobs are already being created as we engage Engineers, Technicians, Retailers, Distributors and Marketers, among others,” he enthused.
He assured that Government is going to forbid all forms of monopoly so that all Nigerians can get access to all types of content without having to expend money on multiple devices.
“With the Set-top box you are getting your Free-to-Air channels, you must be allowed to pay for and buy any and every channel allowed to be broadcast in the country.
“Media pluralism is a cornerstone of democracy and this fact should be reflected in the plurality of independent and autonomous media and in diversity of media content accessible to all.”
The digital television transition, also called the digital switchover or analog switch-off (ASO), is the process in which analog television broadcasting is converted to and replaced by digital television.
This primarily involves the conversion of analog terrestrial television to digital terrestrial. However, it also involves analog cable conversion to digital cable, as well as analog to digital satellite television.
In many countries, a simulcast service is operated where a broadcast is made available to viewers in both analog and digital at the same time.
As digital becomes more popular, it is likely that the existing analog services will be removed.