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Why FG is digitalizing private sector media

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Why FG is digitalizing private sector media

Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the government is pursuing a full private-sector-driven Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting, to ensure a self sustainability of the process.

The Minister stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, at a meeting with
stakeholders in the DSO Project, saying that the government has planned settlement of outstanding debts.

“While looking for funds to pay outstanding debts and re-start the
process, I want to put it on record here that we will be pursuing a
full private-sector-driven DSO and there will be no more subsidies,
either of Set Top Boxes or of Signal carriage. This process must be
self-sustaining,” stressed Mohammed

Alhaji Mohammed said his Ministry is working with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as the Federal Executive Council as part of efforts to secure the funds to re-start the process, which has been stalled since the last rollout in Osogbo, Osun State, in 2018.

The Minister noted that lack of funds has hindered the commencement of the process of
Analogue Switch Off, which will in turn free up spectrum for resale,
deliver the benefits of Digital Television and stimulate Nigeria’s
digital economy, adding that the Ministry is prioritizing the DSO
project because it is critical to the post-Covid prosperity of the
Creative Industry.

He explained that the ministry has commenced the process of implementing Audience Measurement, which will go a long way in driving advertising
spend to the DSO platform, thus helping the channels to fulfill their
obligations to the Signal Distributors.

He charged the meeting to come up with a creative strategy of
implementing the DSO with an expressed commitment to continue with the process until every state has been covered.

“Ladies and gentlemen, going forward, the bottom line is that we need to think out of the box if we are to complete this process. Nigerians have waited far too long to enjoy the benefits of Digital Television.
The Analogue to Digital Switch Over must not be delayed any longer than absolutely necessary,” said Alhaji Mohammed

The DSO, which was launched in Jos, Plateau State, on April 30th 2016, and has so far rolled out in Abuja, Kaduna, Ilorin, Enugu and Osogbo.

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