Welcome Address by the DG NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah at the DSO Launch in Kano



  • The Executive Governor of Kano State, His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
  • The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, distinguished Senator Danladi Abdullahi Sankara,
  • The Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values Honourable Olusegun Odebunmi,
  • The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. My Boss.
  • Other Members of the Kano State Cabinet I want to particularly mention the tireless Commissioner of Information. He was doggedly committed to the success of this course.
  • Our Royal Father, the Emir of Kano…
  • Chairman, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria(BON)
  • My Colleagues, Directors General here present, permit me to mention the Registrar of APCON who chaired the publicity committee of this launch, Olalekan Fadolapo
  • Critical Stakeholders in the DSO Value-Chain
  • Chief Executive Officers of Broadcast Stations,
  • Broadcast Signal Distributors,
  • STB manufacturers,
  • Middleware providers
  • Independent Content Providers
  • Dealers/ Installers trained yesterday
  • ———-
  • Management and Staff of the NBC
  • Gentle Men of the Press


I am overwhelmed with excitement as I stand here today to welcome you to the ancient city of Kano for the much anticipated Digital Switch-On. The 8th location to be so launched, but my first as the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission.  I consider myself privileged to be part of this life changing digital phenomenon which holds a lot of promise for our creative minds as well as wealth creation opportunities for others in the Set-top Box manufacturing and distribution value-chain.

Kano, referred to as the Centre of Commerce is the 2nd largest City in Nigeria, after Lagos, with an estimated resident population of a little under 4 Million out of the 213 million + population of Nigeria. Kano State as a whole is estimated to house over 15 million residents across Twenty thousand, one hundred and thirty one Square Kilometres (20,131 KM2) expanse of Land. (Based on the projections of the latest United Nations Data). That is why rollout is Kano is crucial to the success of the DSO Project in Nigeria.

The DSO in Kano and Nigeria at large will also help to checkmate signals straying into Nigeria from neighbouring countries and its attendant possible security implication.


According to the baseline study carried out the National Broadcasting Commission in 2017, Kano State had about 12,882,030 projected Population, 2,147,005 Households and 1.6 Million projected Number of Television Viewing homes.  That figure would have gone up exponentially by 2021.  This explains why, the National Broadcasting Commission in collaboration with the Digiteam and other Critical Stakeholders, thought it wise to test run with states with less population and viewing homes in the first Phase of the Rollout. The populous and commercial cities of Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt, where left for the second phase of the switch-on. The lessons learnt from the first phase of the Roll-out, in Plateau, FCT, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osogbo, are being used as guidelines. Henceforth, we expect an accelerated Rollout so that within a couple of months, Nigeria can switch-off and begin to harness the full potentials of a digital economy.

Three days ago, 100 artisans from the 44 Local Government Areas were trained on Free TV Dealership, Installation and Activation. These are Kano state indigenes being empowered to take up the task of dealership, installation and activation of the Set-top boxes in the homes.  And those who end up as dealers may engage one or two others to work with. This is in tandem with the vision of his Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari on Job creation. During the DSO Launch in the Federal Capital Territory in 2016 the Mr. president made a statement openly, through Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, who represented him, that, “the Buhari Administration is irrevocably committed to the Digital switch over in Nigeria”.  President Muhammadu Buhari has consistently asserted that Nigeria is going to leverage on the new Digital Revolution to create a National Digital Economy, targeted at creating opportunities and accesses for our country’s very creative young people.  Recently, digital Naira was launched. At the NBC, the work we are doing on the platform of digital broadcasting, flows directly from President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, for a digital economy that works for Nigeria’s young population.

At this juncture, permit me distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, to put on record the overwhelming support we have received from the Executive Governor of Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduge. His Excellency’s commitment to the success of this rollout, remains most admirable and contagious. He did not only grant us audience at a very short notice, but he has gone ahead to own the process and so, for the past couple of weeks, Kano state has been preparing for this new change that is to come. The state house auditorium was expressly approved to host the phenomenal event and all the Local Government Areas were sensitized in preparation for this. A couple of months ago, about a hundred  information officers were also trained, and equipped with basic information to assist in handling frequently asked Questions.  If we have the buy-in of the Governors of other States like we have  had in Kano, then, the DSO project will be completed in record time. Mugode Your Excellency.

The National Broadcasting Commission acknowledges the determination of our boss, the honorable Minister of Information and Culture,  Lai Mohammed, to ensure the success of the Digital Switch Over, and we appreciate his commitment and tenacity.

My brothers, Directors General of NTA and FRCN, Alh Ibrahim ibn Mohammed and Dr. Mansur Liman, you have been very dependable in providing synergistic support for this national project. We appreciate you.

I know I should be doing a welcome and not a vote of Thanks, however, something must be put on record and in correct perspective, the Commissioner of Information Kano State, Comrade………. And Our amiable sister, the Amazon of Broadcasting, the erstwhile Chairman of BON and Director General, Abubakar Rimi Television, Hajiya Sa’a Ibrahim. You have done well.

I will not let my excitement run me into trouble, I am aware that the custodian of the historic landmarks of Digitisation, the well-resourced Eng. Eddy Amana, is scheduled to talk to you on what we have done so far and what to expect. So I return to my seat.

I thank you all for your attention.