The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in company of the Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi performed the function at the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Network Centre, Enugu.
The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, set 2015 for global switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Nigeria could not meet the deadline, due to the high cost involved in the process of the digital migration coupled with the fact that not many television sets could receive a digital signal.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, digitized broadcast services and the production of set up boxes, which are made to enable TV sets to get digital signals, are expected to reach all the zones of the country.
He said that the digital switch over in Enugu was the third in the series after Jos and Kaduna States.
Alhaji Mohammed, emphasised the need for scientific audience measurement system, which he said was critical to the transitional phase to digital broadcasting.
The Director-General, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo explained that the switch over would foster cultural unity in the country.
The Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi announced the purchase of 10,000 set up boxes by the state government for distribution to low income earners in the over 4,000 autonomous communities in the state.
He commended the federal government for the achievement recorded.
Speaking further on the workability of the decoder and the need to sustain the investment, the General Manager of a partnering firm, the Integrated Television Services, Mr. Rotimi Salami, said there was room for improvement.
Also, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Mr. Olusegun Odebunmi, described the switchover as a milestone achievement for the nation’s broadcast industry and assured Nigerians of quality programming and scheduling that would sustain their interests.
In a meeting, the Director General, Nigeria Television Authority NTA, Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed, maintained that NTA being a major content provider in the new echo system of digital broadcast would meet the expectations of the viewing public.
The over 30 television channels using the digital broadcast service are expected to source their contents locally and would be viewed free of charge for one year and subsequent subscribers would be charged ₦1,00 for a whole year.
The event, attracted top government officials, representatives of corporate organisations and media professionals, including the Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Mansul Liman
OBINNA OGBUKA AND CHUKWUMA EZEOGU