Ripples Over Substandard Digital Switch-Over Equipment

Information and Culture Minister

There are indications that the success recorded at the recent launch of Nigeria’s digital switch over in Jos and Abuja may be on the decline as subscribers have continued to register their displeasure over the procurement of substandard equipment.

Information Minister

Sources from Ilorin the capital city of Kwara State squealed that obsolete equipment may have been used for the on-going installations in Kwara and Osun States.

This to a large extent has affected the much publicized multi-channel free television which was hitherto bandied as one of the dividend of democracy of the current administration.

For instance, subscribers in Jos complained of the epileptic digital switch on which initially delivered 15 channels but were later reduced to nine. They added that a year after the Jos digital was launched; the remaining parts of Plateau remained unattended to.

Although subscribers in the federal capital city are enjoying 30 free television channels, experts argued that the black spots must be attended to so as to sustain the tempo.

Stakeholders in the industry are taken aback with the snail speed at which the analogue to digital in the FCT and Jos is being handled and have continued to wonder when the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will fully switch off analogue in Jos and the FCT.

An expert who does not want his name mentioned stated that to think that Plateau State and the FCT are just but microcosms of Nigeria brings out the thought of what will happen to the rest of Nigeria. NBC is by law empowered to regulate the industry and ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged in the process.

He added that the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, NBC and DigiTeam must wake up to their responsibility of ensuring that the equipment installed by the signal distributors is standard and comply with the engineering specifications set by the DSO. He stressed that all the equipment installed for which Nigerians are expected to invest in STBs must be durable and quality equipment.

He implored NBC, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that whatever equipment is imported, installed and deployed in the process are not to pull the wool over the eyes of the teeming viewing public.

“Nigerians deserve to watch uninterrupted free TV once they acquire the STB, All installation sites must be painstakingly supervised so that equipment that are obsolete are not smuggled into the country for this process” He sounded with a note of finality.












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