Abuja Digital Switch-Over 100% ready – Minister

Ahead of Thursday’s digital switch-over in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, the country’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said all is now set for the launch.

The Minister announced this in Abuja on Monday during the tour of key facilities of Pinnacle Communication Limited, the signal distribution for the Abuja DSO.

“We are impressed by the speed, commitment and passion of Pinnacle to this project and we have come here to ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure smooth Digital Switch Over in Abuja on Thursday,” he said.

Mohammed said 30 free channels would be available for Abuja residents upon the switch over on Thursday and that over 450,000 Set-Top Boxes had been provided for the flag-off.

“It’s a revolution in the broadcasting ecosystem as far as Nigeria is concerned because not only are we going to have better clarity and audio but the average resident  of FCT who is in possession of our Set-Top Box will have 30 free channels from news, entertainment, music.This is going to open a new vista for content,” he said.

1 million jobs

The Minister expressed confidence that within 3 years of the digital transition, 1 million jobs would be created in the development of television content, technical services, software development as well as the installation and repair of Set-Top Boxes for over 24 million TV households, among others.

The Minister said even though the Digital Switch Over would not take place in one fell swoop across the country, the Federal Government remained resolute in its commitment to meeting the 2017 deadline for the DSO.

Also speaking at the Call Centre of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), he said the government was equally concerned about customers’ satisfaction, which informed the setting up of the Call Centre where subscribers can call to make inquiries or complaints for prompt response.

Meanwhile, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, the signal distributors of Abuja in the project,  said the company was a hundred percent ready to switch the city of Abuja digital.

According to him, the company has “great faith in the President of the Federal Republic as well as the supervising Minister, and also their resolve to tell the world that a company that is purely Nigerian can do the project successfully.

We have worked on the area of signals in relations to topography of Abuja. From all the boundaries and surrounding locations in the FCT all is set and the signals will be crispy clear with enhanced quality.”

Mohammed, who was accompanied by the NBC Director General, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, and the Chairman of DIGITEAM Nigeria, Mr. Edward Amana, inspected facilities at the Monitoring Room, Transmission Station and the Call Centre.

The Pilot Scheme of the DSO was launched in Jos, Plateau State, on 30th April.