Despite widespread doubt in Nigeria’s ability to fully migrate from analogue to digital transmission by June 2017, authorities remain confident and have recently announced the delivery of 150 000 set-top-boxes – along with direct support from the UK. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) confirmed the delivery and said it would begin deployment nationally, starting with Jos, the capital city of Plateau state.
Awalu Salihu, NBC’s Director of Public Affairs said that the boxes were manufactured by SMK Engineering Limited and Gospell Digital Technology Limited, and their availability for distribution is indicative of how serious NBC is concerning the country’s digital migration. The government has also established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to oversee the migration process and ensure targets are met.
Ogbonnaya Onu, the Science and Technology minister expressed the determination of the federal government towards meeting the deadline.
“The initiative will help in the acquisition of new technologies. We will not relent in efforts at making the switch possible next year,” added Onu.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s quest to migrate has received a boost in the form of support from the United Kingdom. Simon Shercliff, Acting British High Commissioner in Nigeria, said the UK is going to actively assist Nigeria.
“Digital switchover is the main thing and many countries across the world are already enjoying it. Without any doubt, there is need to upgrade the technology in broadcasting world,” he said.
Nigeria has engaged UK firm Inview Technology Limited to help develop and apply digital switchover programmes.
The firm’s platforms director, Matt Seaman said: “The digital switchover programme would start shortly in Jos and we have been working closely with NBC and Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to work out the progress first in Jos and then to other parts of the countries.”