Your Excellency, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola,
Governor, Osun State;
The Deputy Governor, Osun State
Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori;
Distinguished Senator Suleiman Adokwe,
Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Culture;
Honourable Olusegun Odebunmi,
Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value;
Alhaji Lai Muhammed,
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture;
Engineer Edward Amana,
Chairman, DIGITEAM NIGERIA and all other distinguished Stakeholders of the Nigerian DSO process;
Colleagues of the Nigerian Media;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and all our Digital Switchover (DSO) process Stakeholders, I will like to welcome you all to the official commencement of the DSO in Osun State. Just eleven days ago, on the 12TH of February, we were in Enugu state; and on that occasion, we were telling Nigerians that our next point of launch would be Osun State, and the city of OSOGBO. I feel delighted that the DSO train has berthed in this city. And it is also of interest to inform this gathering, that Osun State, is our first location in the Southwest part of Nigeria. Osogbo is very central to the DSO, because this is one of the cities where a factory had been set up, to produce Set Top Boxes (STBs). So coming here to launch, as our entrepôt into the Southwestern part of Nigeria, is therefore a most logical step. This region of Nigeria was after all, the first location of a television service in Africa! And in these parts, generations of truly remarkable broadcasters have made some of the finest programs, and helped to create a fine tradition of professionalism, which defined our country’s broadcasting culture and ethos.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
The launch of the DSO today, will make Osun State the sixth location for the process around Nigeria. Our pilot launch held in Jos, Plateau State, in April 2016. Thereafter, we commenced what amounted to the official launch of DSO in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in December 2016. There was a hiatus of sorts for about a year, and we didn’t effect any other launch, until December last year, when we launched over a two day period, in Kwara and Kaduna States. It is most gratifying to be able to launch two states this month. The first was in Enugu on February 12TH, and we are all here today, in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State. The technical processes are also being installed now, in Delta and Gombe States. The two states would then round up the first phase of the regional launches, around the country. The NBC and our DSO Stakeholders have selected the next set of six states for the new phase of launches, and these would be officially announced in due course. We have also commissioned, and almost completed, the digital mapping of our country. That is a very important technical requirement for the acceleration of the digital switchover process.
You might also be aware, that the backbone of the digital switchover project, was the licensing of two signal distributors. These are Integrated Television Services ( ITS), and Pinnacle Communications Limited. ITS are the signal distributors for the launch that we are gathered to effect today. They were responsible for the pilot phase in Jos in April 2016. They also provided the signals in Kwara and Enugu states. Similarly, Pinnacle Communications Limited were the Signal Distributors for the FCT and Kaduna State, and they are already putting up the structures for Delta and Gombe states. And so important are these two companies, that the Federal Government’s White Paper on the transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria, obliges us to ensure that they are the platforms for pay DTT services in Nigeria, from June 2019. Additionally, we have also authorized 13 Set Top Boxes (STB) manufacturers; some of these companies have installed production facilities in various cities in Nigeria, including here in Osogbo. Nigeria took a decision to ensure that the DSO process, offers a platform of jobs creation, right through the value chain of Nigerian Broadcasting in the digital era. We are also providing a platform for the emergence of a new generation of Nigerian Content Providers. This because television broadcasting in the digital era would be a 24hr fare; and at least 70 percent of all content on Nigerian television MUST be local!
As Nigeria consolidates it’s position as the hub of content in Africa, we are also providing the wings, literally, for our television content to also fly, and become dominant, in terms of the television experience in our homes. Eventually, these new generations of content, of all genres, would tell the stories of Nigeria, to the world. So apart from being an impressive technical platform, digital broadcasting is even more important, as a major avenue for the conveyance of culture, and of national development aspirations. Our DSO process offers a bouquet of local, regional and national channels. A total of thirty at the moment. But even more channels would eventually be given to the Nigerian people as we move on this DSO track. We envisage specialized channels, for children, women, youth, news and current affairs, sports, entertainment, comedy, and channels dedicated to the preservation and flowering of Nigerian languages and cultures. The opportunities and possibilities are limitless. This DSO process is an embarkation into the future of television and broadcasting. I am delighted, that we can effect the launch today here, in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
Thank you very much for your attention!