Federal government yesterday said the Digital Switch Over, DSO, would impact on local economy by acting as a catalyst for retailers and installers to emerge all over the country.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who stated this in Abuja during a press briefing on the pilot roll-out of the much-awaited transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in Jos, stated that the transition would create massive employment and also ensure the transfer of technology.
Already, three signal distributors, according to him, have paid N600 million licensing fee to the federal government while the manufacturers of the Top Boxes have been directed to domicile their companies in Nigeria.
This is with a view to creating job opportunities for Nigerians and to bring down cost.
He also said that Nigerians in the entertainment industry would benefit more from the digitalisation process.
According to him, with the switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting, Nollywood will bring additional $250million revenue to the economy yearly.
“For musicians and movie producers, the DSO will be a blessing as they can now wrong-foot those who have been pirating their works by releasing such works directly to millions of homes using the Digital platform. Also, the capacity generated by the digital broadcasting technology allows for more players to be licensed for the provision of many more television services, compared to the analogue broadcasting technology.”
He added that the switch over to digital broadcasting in Jos had revolutionised television broadcasting in Nigeria.
“Television will never be the same in Nigeria again. For Television stations, this will mean a whole new experience, as they will no longer need to worry about signal transmission, thus paying more attention to content. For content providers, this is boom time, as the demand for content will skyrocket, thus allowing our youth to give vent to their creativity. For viewers, there will be a harvest of channels.”
He further stated that unlike the analogue broadcasting, the digital broadcasting technology is not limited to the delivery of television programmes only.
“Value added and interactive services such as Electronic Programme Guide, EPG, television shopping, weather forecasts, electronic newspapers etc can also be accessed on the television set by the viewer, ushering in a new television viewing experience. The viewer can also access information on government policies and programmes without going on the Internet.”
The minister also revealed that the digitalisation programme kick-started in Jos, where the federal and state governments gave out 500, 000 boxes free, would be replicated in Abuja and Lagos before its national roll out.
“To ensure a smooth roll-out in Jos, the federal government is
giving out 200,000 boxes free of charge to residents. The Plateau
State government has agreed to buy 300,000 boxes for its citizens. Each box costs N1,500 only, because the federal government has
highly subsidised the actual cost, which is about N10,000 per box.
“After the successful DSO roll-out in Jos, we are now moving to Abuja and then Lagos, before the DSO train goes across the country.”
Since there is a single template for West African sub-region, Mohammed further assured that the digitalisation programme would benefit not only Nigeria but the sub-region and foresees massive revenue for the country from that process.
However, none of the communication and surveillance satellites Nigeria launched into space would be deployed for this digitalisation mix because, according to him, they might not have the capacity for the programme, but assured that they might be considered as backups in the future should the need arise.

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