An air of excitement has generated around a revolutionary change in the broadcasting industry at the local, state and national levels in Jos, Nigeria. The country’s National Broadcasting Commission has commenced the initial phase of the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. This digitization is a landmark change for the country, marking the beginning of clearer networking and a smoother, more seamless broadcast across all television stations.
It will be recalled that previous attempts to digitize Nigeria’s broadcasting networks had failed due to various factors including satellite access, and frequency disruption. However, with the success of NBC’s pilot launch, it is projected that the digital commencement is set to soon follow in other states.
Mr. Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, spoke at the event, saying that the change over would effectively promote various television stations across the country and be carried out all without spending much money. “The journey that started in 2006 when International Telecommunications union Council adopted revolution 1185 on transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting is finally nearing its destination,” he told the attendees of the event. “More importantly we are democratising the right to know, the right to knowledge and the right to be informed.”
The Minister spoke emphatically on the benefits of going digital and the government subsidized set up boxes that also served to bridge the previous connectivity gap with functionality.
The Chairman of Set Top Boxes Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Godfrey Ohuabunwa, gave an explanation on the proper utilisation of the set up box, allowing for maximum performance. He stated that in comparison with other countries, Nigeria is ahead of the curve.
“In other regions of the world, such as the Caribbean or south-east Asia, some people in those regions will experience digital broadcasting after most Nigerians,” Ohuabunwa said.
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, Shola Taylor, disclosed the benefits of the switch over in Nigeria, stating that it would improve the increase systematic control and output with more channels made available to Nigerians to watch.
Mr. Mohammed led the digital team in switching on the pilot phase in the ceremony that was held at the State Government House with technical crew, management staff of the broadcast industry in Nigeria, satellite equipment dealers and government functionaries in attendance.
The industry now aims to increase job opportunities and expand the market for set top boxes manufacturers. With this latest breakthrough in broadcasting technology, the 30 million viewers across the country will make Nigeria the biggest free television market in the world.
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