By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Osogbo – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says with Digital Switch Over (DSO), Nigeria has taken bold step to build Africa’s biggest and most lucrative Free To Air Television platform.
The minister said this on Friday in Osogbo at the launch of DSO for Osun.
He said with over 24 million TV households and being the capital of African creativity in Music and Film, Nigeria would become the capital of Television in Africa within the next few years.
Mohammed congratulated the stakeholders on the successful transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting and invited all the players to join the unstoppable train.
“The Digital Switch Over (DSO) train, which took off in Jos, Plateau in April 2016, has now arrived in the State of Osun.
“From Plateau, the train has traversed the Federal Capital Territory, Kwara, Kaduna and Enugu states.
“The State of Osun, therefore, becomes the sixth and the latest state in which we have launched the DSO
“ I congratulate the people of this state, who will now have access to more than 30 digital channels, with crystal clear pictures and Hi-Fidelity audio, once they procure our most affordable Set Top Box,” he said.
The minister noted that with DSO, stakeholders, including mobile phone companies, advertisers, content producers and electronics manufacturers had things to benefit.
He said Nollywood movies could be sold directly to homes without the need of a VCD, DVD or even the internet, while government could use the platform to engage and inform their people.
The minister, who donated 100 Set-Top Boxes to the state, urged governors to key into the project by procuring the boxes for those who could not afford them.
Gov.Rauf Aregbesola of Osun congratulated the Federal Government and the minister for making DSO a reality after many failures by previous administrations.
He said DSO had brought new opportunities to broadcasting and made content production and airing easy and affordable to all.
Aregbesola, however, cautioned that the easy access should not be abused by allowing unwholesome contents like pornography and hate speeches on the platform.
He called for control measures of Free TV contents to promote critical thinking and avoid obscene, immoral and hate programmes.
Sen. Suleiman Adokwe and Rep. Olusegun Odebunmi, who respectively chaired committee on Information in the Senate and House of Representatives, said the National Assembly would support the DSO process.
The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Modibbo Kawu, said the DSO would soon be launched in Delta and Gombe.
He said the commission had almost completed the digital mapping of the entire country for easy roll out of DSO across states. (NAN)