The Federal Government announced, on Saturday, that it will roll out the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) in Lagos, on April 29.
The DSO will herald the country’s transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh Lai Mohammed on Saturday. The Minister disclosed this when he led the Ministerial Taskforce of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Digital Switch Over (DSO) on a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina.
Mohammed said that the decision to transit to digital television followed a treaty agreement signed at the Regional Radio Communication Conference (RRC-06). The conference which held in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2006, planned to usher in ‘all-digital’ terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television by a target date of June 17, 2015.
Mohammed noted that this would create a more equitable, just and people-centered information society; which would connect underserved populations and remote communities, thereby bridging the digital divide. According to him, the proposed rollout in Lagos will be a critical milestone for the DSO and the creative industry; as over one million jobs would be provided nationwide.
‘‘We launched the DSO rollout in Jos, Plateau State, on April 30, 2016. Since then we have rolled out in four more states – Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu, and Osun, in addition to the Federal Capital Territory; bringing the total to five states and the FCT. We are now moving rapidly to cover the remaining 31 states. We are kick-starting the new rollout here in Lagos State on April 29, 2021.
‘‘Kano State follows on June 3, 2021, Rivers State on July 8, 2021; Yobe State on July 15, 2021 and Gombe State on August 12, 2021, with more states slated thereafter.
‘‘The rollout in Lagos reflects our decision to take the DSO to commercial centres across the country. With a population of over 20 million, and projected TV households of over five million; the launch of FreeTV in Lagos State will be a critical milestone for the DSO and for Nigeria’s broadcast and creative industry,” he said.
The minister added that with the FreeTV of the DSO, Nigerians would have opportunities to watch over 60 channels with great content. He added that this would come at a cheaper rate, and without subscription to payTV.
Presenting Gov. Sanwo-Olu with the Set-Top-Box for the DSO; he said that it would also enable government to get the data of every household with television. Mohammed said that this would make the collection of television and radio licenses easier; adding that the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (NBC) had been amended to make provisions for the switch over from analog to digital.
The Minister disclosed that six months after the rollout of the DSO in Lagos; the NBC would ask television stations to shut down their analog broadcast equipment; thereby making more spectrum available for data and other telecommunication services. He stressed that the DSO was relevant to the Lagos Smart City Project and the Lagos Broadband initiative.