Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Alhaji Lai Mohammed

MINISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the Digital Switch Over, DSO, would create over 35,000 new jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths through Technical, Production and Manufacturing opportunities. He stated this yesterday in Abuja during the official launch and roll out of the Abuja Phase of the DSO which is the second after the pilot phase which was launched on April 30, 2016 in Jos, the Plateau State capital. Mohammed said “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 this 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. “The Electronic Program Guide will also be a platform for Application (App) developers to create products that will make life easier for the home consumers, thereby creating and promoting an industry of developers that will operate in both the Television and Telecoms industries.” Speaking further, he also disclosed government’s readiness to launch the DSO across the rest of the country and to commence switch off. Adding that the government’s “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. “The DSO train that took off in Jos has now arrived in Abuja, from where it is set to move to other parts of the country unhindered.” While describing the Switch Over as revolutionary in the Nigerian broadcasting ecosystem he disclosed that Abuja residents will have access to 30 free digital channels as well as Free and easy access to Government and Public information through a touch of their remote control among other benefits. According to him, over 450,000 Set-Top Boxes (decoders) have been provided for the commencement. While reiterating the Federal Government’s doggedness to meeting the June 2017 deadline for the analogue switch over, the Minister, said that the DSO will as well generate 100 Billion Naira per annum Free TV distribution network for Nollywood. “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the government’s unwavering commitment to meeting the set deadline of June 2017 for the analogue to digital switch over here in Nigeria.” He said President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, congratulated the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the managements and members of staff of NBC and the Pinnacle Communications (signal provider) for excellent performance on the Abuja switch over thus calling on all the States and Local Government Councils in the Federation to be actively involved in the projects considering the benefits which the citizens stands to get ranching from TV channels, jobs creation, entertainment and commerce.

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