Address by the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah during MoU Signing between ITS and NTA-Star on August 15, 2022
- It is my pleasure to welcome you to this all-important occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Integrated Television Services Limited (ITS) and the NTA-Star TV Network Limited.
- Today is actually a milestone as we set to solidify the foundation of the delivery of Nigeria to a life changing experience of digital broadcasting with potency of boosting our economy. The project holds lots of promises for our industry and its key players particularly creative minds in the areas of content production and distribution.
- Efforts to deliver Nigeria to digital broadcasting began since 2006 but we consecutively missed three deadlines of 2012, 2015 and 2017 respectively. Today, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we have found an antidote to our challenge of having a simultaneous national roll out with at least 70% signal penetration and coverage of the Nigeria’s territorial boundaries.
Gladly, Hon. Minister, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, after signing this MoU, we expect the two parties to work assiduously to build the requisite broadcast infrastructure that ensures a seamless digital switch over across Nigeria through Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). They will also introduce and adopt a Simulcrypt technique to integrate Free TV contents and NTA-Star contents (Pay TV) using DTT equipment across Nigeria.
- By this, we are expecting to transit the over 30 million TV households in Nigeria to digital broadcasting. More significantly, we expect Nigeria to within a couple of months, switch-off analogue transmission in states already switched on and begin to harness the full potentials of a digital economy.
It is important to emphasize that, NBC has in line with the provision of the DSO White Paper worked towards the separation of the function of the Broadcast Signal Distributor from that of the Broadcast Content Provider.
- Henceforth therefore, it is the responsibility of ITS to carry NTA- Star TV Pay TV content on its digital DTT platform. The Commission awaits other pay DTT operators to follow suit.
I am glad to inform the Hon. Minister, that, with the signing of this MoU, NBC will within a week, commence a vigorous and comprehensive publicity plan for DSO that will cover nooks and crannies of the country in different languages. Within the week also,
NBC will meet with all stakeholders to come up with a tentative timetable for Switch Off.
At this juncture, permit me distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, to acknowledge the doggedness, tenacity and commitment exhibited by my boss, the Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to executing DSO project in Nigeria. Sir, ‘e dupe’. The Commission is grateful.
My brothers, Ag. Director General of NTA, the ITS General Manager and his team, the leadership of NTA-Star Nigeria Itd and especially the Board of the NBC, the Digiteam and my Management Staff as well as DSO Coordinator and her team, I say thank you all for being dependable in providing synergistic support for the actualization of this MoU.
I thank you all for your attention.