Nigeria Broadcasting Commission’s director general Emeka Mba has confirmed what many local experts have been anticipating for some time, that the country is likely to miss the mandatory June 17th digital TV switchover (DSO) date.
Mba said the country doesn’t have the funds to finish the task. “Any attempt to automatically switch-over to digital broadcasting by June 17th, the country will not only create signal interference challenge for neighbouring countries, but will also cut off access to television contents to over 80 over cent of Nigerians, and we are not prepared to create such challenge for Nigerians,” he commented.
He added that he was meeting with ITU officials next week and it had already explained its “contingency plan” to mitigate interference in neighbouring countries. He said he would be asking for a new ASO date. Additionally, he said the NBC had already licensed two signal distribution companies, and that it is in the process of licensing the third. 11 companies have been commissioned to locally manufacture STBs at reduced cost, which he said, would enhance easy conversion and reception of digital signals.
Nigeria’s federal government approved the switchover plan and adoption of digital TV back in 2007.