Kaduna has become the fourth city in Nigeria after Jos, Abuja and Ilorin to be hooked on to the Digital Switch-over (DSO) from analogue to digital communication.
This followed the official commissioning of the switch-over organised by the Pinnacle Broadcast Limited, by the state Governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai and the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The event came two days after the Wednesday’s switch of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, one year of Abuja and 20 months of Jos’s exercise in line with ongoing government’s effort to meet the 100 percent target of transiting the country from analogue to digital communication.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed assured that ordinary Nigerians will be the greater beneficiary of the switch-over and that the country cannot afford to fail in the transiting from analogue to digital broadcast.
“At the end of the day, the ordinary Nigerian must reap the benefits of the digital television without having to break the bank,” he said.
Governor El-Rufai on his part assured that the state governments will do all it can to support the DSO but it would be presently difficult for many states to financially support the process at this time with most of them struggling to pay workers’ salaries.
“We have discussed this in the governors’ forum and have seen the opportunities that it will open but it is very hard. Need to explore a financial engineering that would enable Nigerians to acquire the set-top boxes and pay over a long period of time. After a telephone conversation with the Minister of Information, I accepted to buy about 20,000 set-top boxes buy my Finance Commissioner told me that it will cost N1.5bn and that there is no provision for it in the budget and also that we cannot afford it.
“We have made some provision in the 2018 budget which has been signed into law but what we have in the budget is considered as seed money, we will leverage on financial institutions so that we can buy more such that instead of expecting our people to pay N2000 at once, they can
pay about N200 every month for 12 months,” the governor said.
Also the Chairman/CEO Pinnacle Communications Limited Sir Lucky Omoluwa, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari through Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the DSO in Abuja and commissioned the Abuja digital transmission station of Pinnacle 22 December 2016 exactly one year ago.
He assured that the two signal distributors, Integrated Television Services Company Limited and Pinnacle Communications Limited have similar goals and are fully committed to the success of the government policy on the DSO in the interest of the country.