It has been revealed that the contracts given to move Nigeria from analogue to digital broadcasting were approved by former president Goodluck Jonathan and not by information and culture minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu.
Claims had been made in the past that the two were involved with the approval but a source has suggested they only implemented the white paper approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under President Jonathan.
In 2014, a deadline was set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for Nigeria to move to digital broadcasting, which would make Nigeria the biggest digital television market in Africa, positively impact the Nigerian film industry and contribute to the growth of the economy.
The digital switchover budget was later approved by the FEC and contracts approved by the Jonathan administration.
“The allegation that the NBC DG also awarded contract to Pinnacle Communications is also false as the contract was awarded before the Muhammadu Buhari administration. It is also not true that the minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed he was misled by the NBC DG into approving payment,” said the source.
“The mischief makers have cleverly hidden the fact that the minister also authored payment – based on the approval by the Jonathan administration – to other players in the Echo System, such as Inview, CCNL, ITS and set-top box manufacturers.”