Addressing BON members in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister said he called the meeting in order to brief BON, as critical stakeholders, on the digitization process.
”We have a deadline of June 2017, which is just a little over a year from now, to achieve the Digital Switch Over, or DSO. That simply means the broadcast industry, your industry, will switch over from Analogue to Digital broadcasting. This will have a profound effect on your operations, hence you must be prepared.
”Despite a number of hiccups, we are prodding along. In fact, the Pilot Phase of the DSO has been scheduled for Jos, Plateau State, at the end of this month. Based on the efforts we have made and what we have on ground at the moment, we are confident that we will not miss that target date.
”Since some of your establishments will be directly affected by the Pilot Phase, as you will be required to switch over from Analogue to Digital, we consider it proper not only to carry you along but also to provide you with updates on the process,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the misgivings and the concerns expressed by some BON members over the DSO would be addressed in due course.
”For now, however, our focus is on the success of the Pilot Phase in Jos. After that has been achieved, we will all return to the drawing board to chisel out the rough edges, address the concerns of the various stakeholders and throttle along full speed to meet the DSO target date,” he said.
The Minister reminded the BON members that Nigeria had twice failed to meet the DSO deadline, hence it cannot afford to fail this time.
He said he had set up a Ministerial Task Force, which has been meeting regularly, as part of the efforts to meet the June 2017 deadline, promising that the responsibilities and membership of the Task Force may be expanded, as necessary, after the Pilot Phase.