The Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Is’haq Modibbo Kawu has described the globally trending era of digitization as the strong force driving the spirit and determination of broadcast development in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Speaking in his opening remarks of the 12th edition of Africast in Abuja on Tuesday, he averred that the biennial gathering of African and global stakeholders in broadcast industry “is certainly testimony to the vision of the founding fathers of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and the undying belief and support of our partners from all over the world”.
On the theme: ‘The Dynamics of Broadcasting in the Digital Era’, Kawu stressed that “The choice of theme is very apt, as it reflects the context which is increasingly determining the ambience of broadcasting development, either in the technical/technological experience or in the surfeit of content that is becoming available to consumers of broadcasting, all over the African continent”.
“In Nigeria, the new dynamics associated with digital broadcasting opened in 2016, with the launch of the pilot phase of digital broadcasting in Jos, Plateau State. Like a toe dipped tentatively into a body of water, the experience has enriched Nigerian broadcasting in a profound manner. And it was that initial step and the lessons drawn therefrom, that emboldened us to take the experience to six other states around Nigeria: Jos, the FCT, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osun States. Explaining more, elated DG of NBC said the agency has brought the digital television experience to over 25.4 million people in those states, with about 3.7 million television homes. Continuing, he noted that “The Nigerian digital broadcasting experience has allowed us to unfurl an architecture that has enriched us in knowledge and experience”.
“We now know better how to bring all the components of the digital switchover together, to achieve the remarkable broadcasting experience that will become the total experience of all Nigerians very soon: NBC as regulator and driver of the whole process; DigiTeam Nigeria, the implementation platform; our signal distributors, ITS and Pinnacle Communications Limited; Set Top Boxes Manufacturers; and several other service providers.
“The rich variety of programming choices as well as the possibilities which the Set Top Box, being produced in Nigeria, would open up to Nigerians are some of the reasons that justify the investment that the Nigerian government has made, and continues to make, into the digital broadcasting experience.
Giving additional details on the feats so far covered by NBC in driving Digital Witch over (DSO) in Nigeria, NBC boss said “I will like to inform this august gathering, that our work with the Nigerian process of migration from analogue to digital broadcasting is about to get major shot in the arm”.
“We have finally completed work on a complete digital mapping of the entire Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is a major part of any transition process, because with that, the signal distributors can more confidently roll our transmission facilities, with a sure knowledge of the topography and points of location of transmission systems. “We would also be able to map out the population centres that can facilitate access to most television homes. It would also become easier to work out a very realistic Rate Card pricing, to be charged broadcasters by the Signal Distributors.
He recalled that NBC has already concluded an elaborate roll out timetable, and a consequent timeline for Analogue Switch Off (ASO), for the entire country. The corollary to that is that our authorized Set Top Boxes manufacturers can then work to produce enough boxes for our 32.5 television homes!
He assured that sooner than later, NBC will unveil the new national timetable to the Nigerian people.
The DG further thanked the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed for the leadership he has provided, especially in the journey to DSO in Nigeria.
Business Highlights reports that the biennial event is being attended by broadcast stakeholders from the continent and beyond. The event will end tomorrow and analysts say a communiqué that will help deepen the success of DSO across the continent will be released.