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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that concerted efforts is being geared towards meeting the June 2017 digital broadcasting migration because it knows it will impact positively on the local economy though it is a global issue.

The Minister, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Digital Broadcasting Africa Forum 2016 said “It will impact on the broadcast ecosystem. In most places today you do not have qualitative channels in terms of resolution besides limited channels. In most part of the country, you have maximum of five national channels, AIT, Channels, NTA. But with the migration, you are going to have 15 free to air digital channels once you get the set-top boxes.”

The conference with the theme, The Pan Africa Transition: Achieving digital migration success, was put together by the National Broadcasting Commission, Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Ministry of Communication of Nigeria

Mohammed further said, “Also, broadcast stations will be more interested about quality contents. So what we are looking at is a new regime in broadcasting system, which would allow our young ones to be able to exact their creative energies into the production of content.

“With digitization, you can know the eyeballs for each station and content would become the most important thing. So it is going to change the entire broadcast ecosystem. In Jos, we have kicked off already successful and the average person has 15 free to air channels. And we are moving from there to Abuja, Lagos and we hope by 2017 we would meet the deadline.”

On his part, the Secretary General of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Shola Taylor, said that if Nigeria must meet the June 2017 deadline of digital broadcasting switch over, frequency spectrum must be made available on sound economic grounds,

“Whenever possible, while it is the countries’ sovereign right to use spectrum as they fit, it is our view that it must be made available on sound economic ground first, including for the broadcasting sector itself” the CTO chief told the forum that attracted policymakers, regulators and broadcasting industry executives.

On her part, acting Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Alheri Saidu, said that for broadcasters to be relevant in this era of digitization, they must adapt to the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) technology.

“Given the competition from internet content, which adds to competing offerings from satellite, cable and now IPTV providers, broadcasters must adapt if they are to remain relevant to the digital era,” she said.

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