Yesterday at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Enugu, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of Information, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Is’haq Kawu performed the digital switchover ceremony in the state.
According to the NBC head, the digital switch-over would enhance the broadcast value chain and open up jobs for Nigerians. Kawu added that it would allow television viewers to enjoy new generation of Nigerian content and would also address poor reception of television signals especially in rural areas.
At the event, the state governor announced his government will distribute 10,000 setup boxes valued at N15 million, for free to low income households in rural areas to enable them access digital television. According to him, the event is is a landmark in television broadcasting in Nigeria.
Ugwuanyi said that the setup boxes which were the major accessory that would, henceforth, enable television viewers in the state watch more channels, would be distributed immediately. He said the state government was fully conscious of the possible discomfort economically challenged families would face as a result of disruption in accessing free to air television contents.
“This, in our judgment, is the major reason the Federal Government has committed to subsidise 10 million setup boxes for distribution to poor households in Nigeria,” he said. “As a government, we have intervened on behalf of our people by purchasing 10,000 setup boxes which will be distributed free to low income households identified in our rural areas. Our goal is to enable less economically endowed families to continue to receive even more television channels after this ceremony. The boxes will be distributed after this ceremony in such a manner that it will reach all the 475 autonomous communities in the state,” he said.
The information minister also announced the donation of 100 setup boxes to the state government. These, the governor said, would be distributed to security agencies in the state, noting that it was gratifying to bid farewell to analogue broadcasting in the state.