NBC lists Enugu in second phase of digital switchover

Alhaji Is’haq Kawu, Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)

THE Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Alhaji Is’haq Kawu, has listed Enugu as one of the states to participate in the second phase of the digital switchover of the commission.

Speaking on Tuesday in Enugu during a courtesy call on the State’s Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, Kawu said that the next move was to accelerate the process across the country.

He said that one state was chosen in each of the six regions of the country, adding that selection of Enugu was informed due to its socio-cultural relevance to the South East.

“The estimated population of the state as at December 2016 is 3. 692 million while the total number of households are projected to be 820, 117.

“The projected Television Households in Enugu State represent about 91 per cent of the total households at 742, 210,” he said.

Kawu solicited the participation of the state government in the financing, procurement, manufacture and distribution of the Set Top Boxes (STB) that would enable residents of the state watch Digital Terrestrial Television.

“The essential components of the switchover include the installation of digital transmission systems by our licensed Signal Distributors and the distribution of thousands of Set Top Boxes.

“Without the boxes, no one can watch Digital Terrestrial Television in the state because these boxes will be the new way to watch television,” he said.

He said that the usage of the STBs had economic underpinning as it would open opportunities for local councils to access revenues from television licensing.

“The commission will be willing to facilitate setting up of a manufacturing plant for production of the boxes in the state to service the remaining states of the zone.

“This is a win-win situation for all of us because the digital switchover is a platform for jobs especially for the young people,” he said.

Kawu said that the commission had on December 22, started the switchover in Abuja following the pilot phase that was effected in Jos in April 2016.

“In Jos we gave our viewers a bouquet of 15 television channels, while the Abuja Switchover is offering 30 television channels to viewers in FCT.

“We missed two deadlines to achieve the transition in 2012 and 2015; but the Nigerian government has committed itself to achieving a national transition by June 2017.

“This is a major logistical, technical and financial challenge for all Nigerians but it is a process the NBC is committed to completing for Nigerians,” he said.

Kawu said that the process was a fulfillment of an international obligation by the government to ensure the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting services.

Responding, Ezeilo said that the state government would continue to accord the commission all necessary support in the discharge of their obligations.

She commended the commission for inclusion of the state in second phase of the digital transition.

“We assure you of our commitment toward the discharge of your duties in the state,” Ezeilo said.