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  • December 27, 2017
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On behalf of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), I will like to welcome you all to this event. We have gathered here in Kaduna, for the official commencement of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), here in Kaduna state. For me, this is a moment of unique joy and uncommon privilege. We are gathered to commence the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, when all of us are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Kaduna. Most people familiar with my work in print journalism, as a columnist, know how proud I am of my identity as an authentic Kaduna man. This is because Kaduna, is one of the three cities that I call home. The others being Abuja, where I work, and Ilorin, where I was born. It is very interesting, that just two days ago, we also launched the DSO in Ilorin, and Kwara state. 

But there is something very special about this city and state; this is after all the old capital of Northern Nigeria! And this is a city of politics; administration as well as of media. It was therefore natural, that Kaduna would be one of the states that we would choose in this, first phase of the DSO. To make it even more poignant, the switchover is taking place when the 100th anniversary of Kaduna is being celebrated! So we in the midst of celebration that speak to the best of our lives. And this digital switchover just underlines the mood of celebration. And our compatriots in Kaduna state can count themselves to be very lucky, because in this location, Pinnacle Communications limited have installed the most modern, state-of-the-art broadcast facilities, to ensure that the people in this state, get access to the very best of the world of terrestrial television. For that we must thank Sir Lucky Omoluwa, who has very exacting standards of performance. And in the near-thirty years that I have known the self-effacing gentleman, I can attest to the fact that he has never wavered from those standards! It is equally important to note, that the Abuja Switchover, which was also done on the platform of Pinnacles Communications Limited, took place exactly a year ago today! So there are too many heart-warming coincidences associated with our gathering this morning.

Two days ago, we inaugurated the Digital switchover in Kwara state. And it is testimony to our commitment to the process, that 48hours after the launch in Ilorin, we have all gathered here in Kaduna. I want to re-emphasize what I said in Ilorin just two days ago. Digital broadcasting is going to change the face of television in our country forever. The Nigerian government, through the NBC, is committed to taking advantage of the digital economy, to open up accesses for Nigeria’s young people, to create new content, that can help to reinforce patriotic commitment to national development. And as part of the work that we are doing with this DSO process, we have held content financing workshops in Lagos, Enugu and Kano. We were very happy to note that Nigeria’s young and creative community, are increasingly understanding the importance of the opportunities that the digital process can portend for our future.

So let me re-iterate that we are deploying two multiplexes of 30 channels for our viewers in Kaduna state. These represent local, regional and national channels. And that is the model that we have adopted for Nigeria’s digital switchover. The opportunities associated with this process are enormous. And the opportunities are limitless. We are very sure that as Nigerian content producers increasingly find the métier in the digital era, we would begin to see specialized productions in different genres of broadcast programming. This is the reason that the DSO process has also been designed to ensure that 70% of all programs will be Nigerian content! That way we can tap into the rich vein of Nigerian cultures; day-to-day life experiences and other themes that define us as a people. This is the sense in which I have always believed that the DSO process is a win-win proposition for all our stakeholders and in the long run, for the Nigerian people. As you would discover here in Kaduna state, this is the point of embarkation, for a most exciting terrestrial television adventure.

We must thank President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also a resident of this lovely city and state, for his enthusiasm for the digital revolution; and his realization that it can offer limitless opportunities for Nigeria’s young and very talented. Similarly, I want to appreciate the leadership that Alhaji Lai Muhammed, the Honourable Minister for Information and Culture has continued to provide for the process, over the past two years. I am delighted to underscore the incredible support that the DSO process and the NBC, as the regulatory institution, have enjoyed from the National Assembly. I must let you know that in Senator Suleiman Adokwe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information as well as Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun, his counterpart in the House of Representatives, we have two gentlemen, who pull all stops, to ensure that the DSO project can roll out with minimum fuss!

As a very proud citizen of Kaduna city and state, I want to also thank His Excellency, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, for providing us the ambience that made it easy for Pinnacle Communications to roll out the transmission backbone for the DSO project, here in Kaduna state. I am proud to let you know that a digital switchover, is a platform of cooperation, that brings together our signal distributors, ITS and Pinnacle Communications; Set Top Boxes Manufacturers; Middle Ware provider; content aggregator and call center as well as DIGITEAM NIGERIA. All of them work together with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to deliver this historic project. My dear compatriots of Kaduna state; welcome to the future of terrestrial television and the DSO! 

Thank you very for your attention!


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