TEXT OF WELCOME ADDRESS BY DIRECTOR GENERAL NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION, PROF. ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO), IN LAGOS STATE, THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH, 2021
It is indeed an honour for me to welcome you all on behalf of the broadcast industry in Nigeria to this historical event of the launch of the Digital Switch on of free Open Digital Terrestrial Television(DTT) broadcasting in Nigeria.
When we began the implementation of the first pilot roll out in Jos in 2016, we consciously decided that Lagos being perhaps the biggest city in Nigeria ,and hosting the largest demography of Nigerians in a particular city , can only be switched on after experimentations from other smaller albeit not less important cities of tbe country.
After almost 3 years lull, I thank God that we have taken the bold task of commencing Phase 2 of the Digital Switch over with the switch on of Lagos today. The DTT free project by the Nigerian government is one that is home grown, unique in its philosopyical under pinning which has the development of our indigenous culture and tradition, and the empowerment of the mass population of our country as a core value proposition. Our home manufactured Set Top Box is a melting point and convergence point of our collective heritage.
To arrive to this point I must acknowledge the constant policy direction and support of this administration, especially that the transition from analogue to Digital broadcasting only commenced earmestly in 2016 with the advent of this administration, before then it was so much steam without motion. I therefore thank the President for his unwavering commitment to bring information and access to information to the mass of Nigerians.
I want to most sincerely thank the Honorable Minister for his drive and energy to deliver this proposition for the good of Nigerians. I recal that it took his intervention and dogged commitment to drive the process before we attained the pilot roll out in Jos. Today he has again proven that commitment and capacity for leadership with the switch on of the DTT signal in Lagos today.
It must be stated that the Digitization of broadcasting brings a whole gamut of opportunities for Nigerians. It is perhaps without doubt the fastest and safest way to leap frog those at the lower rung up the digital divide.
With this roll out in Lagos, a projected 5 million Lagosians are instantly going to access digital television services not only for broadcasting but with converged opportunities to Telecom and other ancilliary services. Jobs will be created for creatives and Engineers and technicians, small scale business activities are going to be stimulated around the proposition, sale of boxes, installations, content production and the like.
I thank our various stakeholders especially the Lagos based broadcasters who have given robust support towards creating DSO awareness. I have undertaken several media campaign rounds where I have been warmly received. For me the greatest win of this Lagos launch is that broadcasters are owning the process. They are excited and see the success of the Digital switchover as theirs.
The Digital switchon we are activating here in Lagos today means that from today with just a set top box Lagosians can now enjoy over 30 digital television services,
subscription free. Since the commencement of the DSO implementation in 2015 we have also licensed over 140 Digital Terrestrial Television Channels cutting across national, regional and local channels. We expect therefore that Lagos will quickly scale up to some 60 channels, within the next few weeks.
I am sure that the Lagos state government will also now explore the information outlet on the box to reach citizens . We already have the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, State House and Ministry of Information on the information platform.
It is my sincere honour again to welcome you to this event. May I also remind us that six months from today, analogue broadcasting will be switched off in Lagos,, I therefore urge us all to acquire the set top boxes which are available and produced in country by Nigerians.
I congratulate his Excellency the Governor of Lagos for the very visible, exemplary and impactful leadership which he is providing for the good people of Lagos state and indeed Nigerians. I thank you sincerely for all the help and support towards the actualization of this Launch. I congratulate the good people of Lagos and welcome you to your new world of DTT Free TV.
Finally, I thank broadcasters once more, especially those who gave valuable airtime to this roll out.
To God be all the honour and Glory!