Digitization: Nigeria restates commitment to meet switchover deadline

Solomon Chung, Abuja

The Nigerian government is irreversibly committed to meeting the June 2017 deadline for the switchover in the West African sub-region and also to the roll-out of the DSO in all the states of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

The President who was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo revealed this at the Abuja Launch of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Broadcasting on Thursday.

He said digitization will create jobs in the area of content and software development; provide the platform for film producers and musicians to release their productions directly to households, which will substantially cut off piracy.

The President then appealed to all states and local governments to be actively involved in the project because of the obvious advantages to the people.

“ This would liberalize access to and increase the versatility of media information.  Interactive programming, two-way data exchanges, mobile reception of video, internet and multimedia data will open up.

The opportunities that this will provide are only limited by the imagination. Advertising, formal education, sales and marketing are obvious low hanging fruits.”

He said the private sector is a strong partner in this sort of development and as such the government must carry the sector along.

“I told the National Assembly recently that a strong partnership with the private sector is a defining strategy of our economic plan.”

According to the President, the local industry is already experiencing a boost from the new vista in digital economy, with several indigenous companies now manufacturing Set-Top-Boxes.

“Indeed I am told that many of the set-top-boxes we are using for this Abuja switchover are produced in Nigeria.” 

Even if only for the huge local and international opportunities for Broadcast, media, ICT, entertainment and education, we are right to say that we stand at the threshold of exciting times for job creation, entertainment and in general, local and international commerce, he submitted.