The Lagos State Government on Tuesday hosted a delegation from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Abuja as part of strategies to ensure an effective launch of the Digital Switch Over of broadcast stations.
The Director-General, NBC, Isha’q Modibbo Kawu, represented by Dr. Chibuike Ogwumike, led the team to discuss plans for the switchover scheduled for launch on April 29th, 2021 by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
Receiving the officials, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said that the switch to digital broadcasting will mark a positive improvement in the quality of transmission and visuals across all broadcast networks.
Omotoso acknowledged the tremendous role that NBC has played in the regulation of broadcasting and observed the need for an aggressive advocacy campaign to bridge the communication gap between the government and members of the public on the gains of the Digital Switchover.
Buttressing the need for public enlightenment, the Commissioner said, “we know the advantage of the digital switchover and what it means for Nigeria. It simply means that quality services will get to the grassroots and they will be more educated as better services will be available for everybody”.
He gave an assurance that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would embrace the digital switchover, just as the present administration has embarked on the use of technology to improve many aspects of governance as espoused in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
The Commissioner noted that in order to enhance service delivery in hospitals, schools and other establishments in Lagos State, the Sanwo-Olu led government has embarked on the Smartcity project with the first phase of laying of 3000km of fibre-optic cables across the State to enable Lagosians access internet services in all nooks and crannies.
He gave an assurance that the project will aid security, communication, transportation and grow commerce in the State, pointing out that Lagos will embrace digital technology that ranks at par with international standards.
Earlier, the Director-General of NBC Isha’q Modibbo Kawu, said that the team paid a visit to Lagos State in recognition of the State as the hub of beneficiaries of the digitalisation of broadcasting services in Nigeria.
“It is pertinent for the team to come and pay its respect to the Honourable Commissioner, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso as well as inform him about the importance and preparation towards the Digital switchover taking place next month”, Kawu said.
He explained that the digital switchover is an initiative of International Telecommunications Union, noting that Nigeria has agreed to stop analogue transmission by the year 2022.
Recalling that the transition programme was commenced by the Federal Government and NBC in 2016 at Jos as a pilot study, the DG said that the actual switchover is scheduled for kickoff in Lagos State next month.
Kawu maintained that NBC cannot afford to fail for any reason in its scheduled commencement of the digital switchover in Lagos, noting that all facilities have been inspected and are in good shape, ready for the takeoff.