General news

The DSO will strengthen the IGR of States – Lai Mohammed



By Rotimi Ijikanmi

Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the Digital Switchover (DSO) will help increase States Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through its value-added services.

The minister said this on Saturday when he led members of the ministerial task force on a visit to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Lagos House, Marina.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that Mohammed is the chair of the working group charged with the responsibility of driving the successful execution of DSO, the process of transitioning from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.

The minister specifically said that the value-added services provided by DSO and FreeTv would help local governments in 36 states collect television and radio licenses from residents.

He said that with the successful completion of the DSO project, FreeTV would be available nationwide on both digital terrestrial television (DTT) and direct-to-home (DTH) transmission.

Mohammed said that in addition to broadcast services, FreeTV will also provide value-added services such as video on demand, news services and audience measurement.

“DSO isn’t just about high fidelity sound and image, it’s about creating jobs, especially for our teeming youth, stimulating local content and empowering channel owners.

“Over the next three years, the DSO is capable of creating a million jobs, in the manufacture of set-top boxes or set-top boxes; Television production, film production, distribution as well as television and online advertising.

He said people could also take advantage of the FreeTV platform’s push video-on-demand capability to access high-end Nollywood blockbuster movies from the comfort of their homes.

Mohammed said the FreeTV platform could also be used to broadcast information about the activities, policies and programs of the respective states to viewers.

“A major advantage of DSO is that viewers will not pay subscription fees.

“Once they acquire the decoder and pay the access fee once a year, which is a token, viewing them is free until the end.

Millions of Nigerians who cannot afford the rising subscription fees charged by pay TV platforms can now enjoy the benefits of digital TV.

“This is the meaning of bridging the digital divide,” he said.

Mohammed recalled that the government inaugurated the deployment of the DSO in Jos on April 30, 2016.

He said after the inaugural launch, they deployed to four other states – Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osun – and the Federal Capital Territory.

The minister said they would begin the second phase of the DSO deployment in Lagos State on April 29, which would be followed by Kano State on June 3, Rivers on July 8, Yobe on July 15 and Gombe on August 12.

He said more states would be designated afterwards, until the whole country was covered.

Mohammed said the courtesy visit was intended to brief the governor of the deployment to Lagos and to seek the support and cooperation of the state government and people.

In his response, the governor said that the state would provide support to ensure the smooth execution of the DSO project in the state.

Sanwo-Olu stressed the importance of the DSO in creating jobs, generating income and disseminating information and in bringing government closer to the people. (NOPE)


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