Digital migration is ‘irreversible’ – Information Minister

Solomon Chung, Abuja

Digital migration in broadcasting is ‘irreversible and unstoppable.’
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said in Beijing, China, that Nigeria and the African continent must join the global digitization train so as not to be left behind.
Speaking at the end of the 6th African Digital TV Development Seminar in the Chinese capital, the Minister said it was imperative for Africa to utilize the platform provided by digitization to leapfrog into the future of technology.
He said a successful transition would spin off benefits far beyond broadcasting, not just for Nigeria but for the entire African continent, adding that a timely and successful Digital Switch Over (DSO) would put many of the country’s youths to work.
It wouls also provide the platform for their creativity to blossom, ensure technology transfer and create opportunities.
Mohammed said it was in realization of the far-reaching benefits of the DSO that African Ministers, in charge of Information and Communication, who attended the forum, have agreed on the need for a continental synergy and the sharing of experiences in order to facilitate a successful switchover across the continent.
He said a situation in which only two African nations had so far successfully digitalized their broadcast industry did not augur well for the continent.
”The Digital Switch Over is a global project. Many countries that have concluded their DSO are already reaping the benefits accruing therefrom. Africa cannot afford to lag too far behind,” the Minister said.
He commended the organizers of the Forum for providing a platform not just for all those involved in the digitization process in Africa and China to interact and share experiences, but also for the representatives of the various African countries to interact.
”The lessons we have learnt and the experiences we have shared at this forum will definitely fire our zeal to continue working apace towards a timely and successful digitization. We must all build on the momentum we have garnered through our interactions in these past few days,” the Minister said.