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Government & Politics

Nigeria will meet July 2017 deadline for digital switch Over – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has restated that the process of switching over from analogue to digital broadcasting “is very much on course’’.

The minister stated this at a dinner organised by Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) in honour of the newly appointed Chief Executive Officers of Federal Government-owned media houses.

The Federal Government owned media houses are News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mr Emmanuel Agbegir, assured that Nigeria would meet the July 2017 deadline for the West African countries on Digital Switch Over (DSO).

He recalled that as parts of efforts to meet the deadline, government successfully launched the pilot scheme of DSO in Jos in April.

The minister said that the Federal Government also licensed 13 Set-Top Boxes manufacturers and some of them had commissioned their factories across the country.

Mohammed said that signal distributors had been licensed and a consortium of consultants engaged to ensure that all aspects of DSO were delivered successfully.

He appealed to media practitioners saddled with the responsibility of content formulation and direct communication to the masses to project government activities positively. The minister tasked members of RATTAWU to collaborate with the NBC to ensure successful migration.

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The Director-General of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, who responded on behalf of other appointees, thanked RATTAWU for considering it proper to host them to a dinner. He said that the NBC would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure a successful switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Mr Shaaban Sharada, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Broadcast Media and Mr Uyime Usoro, Special Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom were honoured at the event. Malam Garba Mohammed, the immediate past President of Nigeria Union of Journalists and a commissioner in Kano State was also honoured at the dinner.

Sharada, Usoro and Mohammed are members of RATTAWU. The occasion was attended by the Director-General of NTA, Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed and the Director-General, FRCN, Mallam Mansur Liman. The Managing Director of NAN was represented by a Director in the Agency, Mr Victor Idem and VON Director-General was represented by Mr Ben Sharang.

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