Nigeria’s digital switchover (DSO) is set to reach Enugu and Osun states this month.
The news, which comes weeks after Kwara and Kaduna states made the switchover, was announced at a DSO stakeholders held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, by Mallam Is’haq Modibbo-Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Modibbo-Kawu also disclosed that DSO would reach Delta and Gombe states during the first quarter of 2018, and promised that 12 further states would make the transition before the year ends.
Of the challenges posed by DSO, he added: “Coverage is related to topography. Take, as an example, the Federal Capital Territory – it is a city of hills and undulating ground.
“As I am talking to you, the signal distributor for Abuja has purchased feeder pillar transmitters, which will be installed for the entire Abuja and environs to be covered. The same thing applies in Plateau. The signal distributor has to put feeder pillar transmitters in places like Langtang for the entire state to be covered.”
The DSO meeting also saw speakers proffer solutions for such challenges. Olusegun Odebunmi, chairman of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation & Values, addressed the issue of lack of funds.
“The government must give directives for the sale of spectrum and make part of the realised money available to bankroll the process,” Odebunmi said. “The best and the only sure way to raise money is to sell off the nation’s spectrum. The process requires huge investment and, because it is Nigerians that will benefit from it, it is time for government to invest in its people.
“There should also be a plan for compensation for those people who are vacating the spectrum. Money from the spectrum will also be used to subsidise the purchase of set-top boxes for the masses. The government must have the political will to drive the process.”
The NBC has asked states that have made the switchover to consider subsidising set-top boxes for indigenes and old people. So far, DSO has reached Abuja, Jos, Kwara and Kaduna states.