The Federal Government has reinstated its commitment to meet the June 2017 deadline for migration from analogue to digital broadcasting insisting that the country must keep up with the rest of the world in digital broadcasting.
This development was discussed and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The government has also directed relevant agencies to ensure that Nigeria meets the deadline for migration.
It will recalled that Nigeria has missed the digital switchover deadline twice first in June 2012 and later in June 2015 mainly because of inadequate funds and ill preparation.
In order to prevent the situation from happening again, Nigeria’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting was the sole issue discussed at Wednesday’s federal executive council meeting.
Briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said outside the swearing in of four special advisers, including one for the economy and a permanent secretary, the digital broadcasting dominated the meeting.
According to Mohammed, the President said the migration, which is line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), was essential to enable Nigerians continue to receive television signals after the deadline.
“The main highlights of today’s council meeting are the swearing in of the four special advisers and permanent secretary for foreign affairs, after which only one single council memo was considered and that council memo was a note in respect of an update from my ministry in the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting,” he said.
“Yes, Nigeria might be going through a very difficult time, it doesn’t mean that we are going to be cut off from the rest of the world.
“20 years ago, Ethiopia had a famine that ravaged the whole country, they have risen from the ashes of that famine to become one of the strongest economies of the world.”
‘’The fact that we are facing temporary problems does not mean that we are not going to be at pace with technology development all over the world. This is a global issue. It simply means that if we do not move from analogue to digital broadcasting, we may not be able to even receive signals on your television.”
“Again, the government would assist to subsidize in getting the boxes but look at the job creation that digital migration is going to bring to Nigerians; look at the opportunities it offers our young men who are very talented to provide content to television stations.”
‘’So, it’s going to impact very largely on the broadcast industry, even piracy which has been a menace to us today.”
“Already the pilot scheme in Jos, which was successfully deployed at the end of April is working very well, and today those who are in possession of our setup boxes can view 15 channels with clarity in Jos.”
Source: The Will Magazine.