This day May 25 in 2016, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed Is’haq Modibbo Kawu as the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission.
An experienced journalist with over forty (40) years of experience in the print and broadcast media, Modibbo had his marching orders from Mr. President – to re-organise the NBC and transform the Nigeria broadcasting industry into one that can compete with the best in the world.
Upon assumption of office, Modibbo hit the ground running by ensuring that the transition from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television Transmission (DTT) was re-energised. One of the first important steps he took was to broker the settlement of the dispute between the Commission and Pinnacle Communications Ltd, one of the signal distributors for the DSO project. This resulted in the out of court settlement which brought the whole DSO project back on track.
With all hands on deck working assiduously day and night, Abuja DSO was launched within 7 months in December 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. In rapid succession thereafter, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osun States were switched on to the digital platform in line with a phased program Modibbo and his management team had adopted to streamline the whole DSO program. Modibbo has continued to engage various stake holders on the DSO program, including the Legislators, Government officials, Nigeria Governors Forum, BON, set top box manufacturers, Signal Distributors, Content aggregator (CCNL), middleware provider (Inview Nigeria) ALGON, Educational Institutions, Political parties, Religious bodies, CSOs and NGOs, all in the bid to forge ahead on the DSO and sanitise the industry.
Modibbo who believes in the importance of a well-trained manpower, proceeded to put in place a very robust training policy which has, to date, ensured that virtually all staff of the Commission have been re-trained. He has also led his management in discussions with OFCOM in the UK and CSA in France to share knowledge to enhance best international practices in the NBC. Back home, Modibbo has ensured the training of industry practitioners across the country through seminars and workshops carried out by the NBC and its representatives. After the vigorous training of staff, Modibbo reorganized the Commission’s workforce through postings and the appropriate placements of staff for maximum productivity. Examinations have already been conducted for the next round of promotions.
He has also put in place plans to introduce innovations based on the latest technologies into the process of monitoring the airwaves. As a result of this, he has in different fora within and outside the country engaged manufacturers of Broadcast equipment on the best means of monitoring the airwaves in the 21st century. He has ensured that the various zonal and state offices of the Commission are well equipped with necessary tools for maximum productivity within the available resources of the Commission.
In the area of revenues, Modibbo has successfully convinced the Commissions Licensees on living up to their financial obligations to the Commission. As such a lot of success has been recorded in reducing the financial delinquency of many of the Commissions Licensees.
Pursuant to section 2(1) h of the NBC Act, Cap. NII, Laws of the Federation, 2004, the Commission, under Modibbo’s watch, collaborated with industry practitioners to review the 5th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code at a Stakeholders’ retreat which held in Kano between 14th and 18th May, 2017. Work on the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code has been concluded and the finished product will be released to the industry shortly.
With all the above achievements recorded within 2 years by the Modibbo Kawu led team at the NBC, it is certain that the Nation is set for a successful Digital switch over and an improved, purposeful dynamic and vibrant broadcasting industry in the digital ecosystem and beyond.
Good Morning Nigeria.