…Nigerians to Pay N1,500 to Watch 30 Channels
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Wednesday, said Nigeria has blazed the trail with the recent flag-off of the Jos Pilot City Digital Switch-over.
The Minister, who disclosed that 30 million viewers are being targeted, said federal government has licensed three companies are signal distributors.
Briefing Journalists on the new innovations in Abuja, Wednesday, the minister said Nigeria had to work hard to migrate from the analog system so that the country is not left behind ahead of the July, 2017 given to all West African countries to adopt the digital broadcasting system.
He disclosed that each of the companies would pay the federal government N600million, while television viewers in Nigeria would be able to view 30 television channels free, once they acquire the set top boxes that will cost as low as N1500.
“You no longer need to subscribe to watch these channels, but you will be required to only pay your television licenses”, he said.
According to him, government has also mandated the set top box manufacturers to begin preparation to commence local manufacture.
Mohammed said federal government would make 200,000 set top boxes available, while also appealing to state governments to join the new digital broadcasting initiatives.
He named the companies so far licensed to distribute the signals to include, MTS, PINNACLE and ITS, adding that “you need only one box per TV to watch 30 channels”.
Speaking on services availability in rural areas, the Minister allayed fears that television services may be difficult to access in such places adding that “the entire rural areas are also covered by VSAT, therefore, there will be no signal problems.
“About 30 million Nigerians including others from the ECOWAS region will be able to view over 30 free to air TV stations”.
“In Jos today you do not have to subscribe to DST to watch world class broadcasting system”.
“We are still at the pilot scheme. Government has licensed 13 set box manufacturers 4 companies have already set up to start the local manufacturing of these boxes”
The Minister who also listed the advantages, noted that digital broadcasting will reduced piracy, increase income for movie makers as well as make the entertainment industry more lucrative for creativity
Speaking on plans to launch the War Against Indiscipline WAI Programe, the Minister said plans were afoot to bring back the dreaded WAI as part of the current anti-corruption Programme of the federal government.
He announced that a National rebirth summit will be held in July this year as a precursor to the reintroduction of the War Against Indiscipline.