The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has declared that the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja will be launched by December 2016.

Mohammed gave the assurance in Abuja after a guided facility tour of Pinnacle Communication Limited, which is the licensed signal distributor of the DSO in the FCT and Trefonics, a licensed manufacturer of Set Top Boxes.

The minister said it is important to ascertain the level of preparation of all the stakeholders in order to ensure a successful roll-out in Abuja.

“We are very much on track but I think it’s important to understand what the Digital Switch Over entails. It entails that all the component actors be ready. Here is the signal distributor and we are quite impressed that before the end of November, this facility will be ready to distribute signals to the entire FCT,” he said.

He affirmed that the Abuja launch is the most ambitious project so far in the DSO, stressing that the pilot was successfully launched in Jos earlier this year because of its strategic location to FCT, the nation’s capital.

Mohammed lauded the patriotism of the Chairman of Pinnacle Communication Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa whom, he said, had remained focused on the project despite the initial hiccup that almost derailed the DSO.

The Minister expressed satisfaction with the Set Top Box manufacturing process during his tour of the complex of Trefonics in the Idu Industrial Layout.

“The first Set Top Boxes were actually imported but there is a proviso in the award letters, consequently, every licenced manufacturer will have to manufacture his products here and we are happy that Trefonics is doing exactly that,” he said.

He disclosed that with about 24 million TV households in Nigeria, and with proper marketing strategy and quality control, there will be a huge market for the Set Top Box manufacturers in the country.

Mohammed noted that the DSO would revolutionise broadcasting in Nigeria, thereby unleashing the creative potentials of youths, and creating one million jobs in three years.

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