The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project will be completed by the middle of 2022 when the country will fully transit from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.
The Acting Director-General of the Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, gave the assurance during an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, March 7.
“With the commitment of N9.4 billion by the Federal Government and the setting up of the Ministerial Task Force by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, there will be accelerated activities toward the delivery of the project,” he said.
1st News had reported that the minister on Feb. 23 announced the approval of the fund at the inauguration of the 14-member Ministerial Task Force to drive the DSO rollout in the remaining 31 states.
Idachaba said that with the launch of the pilot programme in Jos, Plateau in 2016, followed by Abuja and subsequently Kwara; Kaduna; Enugu; and lastly Osogbo, in Feb. 2018, the launch had now resumed in big cities.
“We are going to Lagos very soon and before the third quarter of this year; we would have covered, at least, five more states.
“The signal distributors are ready and, as we speak, they are setting up their infrastructure in Lagos; Port-Harcourt; and Kano, preparatory to the rollout.
“The box manufacturers are also working to ensure the availability of boxes needed.
“There is a big ambition to achieve this national assignment; and the good news is that all the component players within the ecology are ready to go.
“By the plans we have, by the middle of 2022, we would have completed the digital switchover in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The NBC boss gave credit to the minister for his vision in the implementation of the DSO project; stressing that the Task Force he set up was all-encompassing.
“We have as part of the members, a representative of the Minister of Finance.
“I must put on record the huge support we have enjoyed from the minister; in trying to push through the idea of making available the fund approved for the rollout.
“If I get the body language well, I think there are obvious signs that money will be released on time; and the usual bottlenecks will not happen this time,’’ he said.
The NBC boss said they had done a retrospective analysis of what had been done over time and identified the gaps.
He expressed the confidence that they would have a faster and seamless rollout across states; having resolved all disputes that could lead to legal cog.