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Emma Okonji

Ahead of the launch of the Jos pilot city Digital Switchover, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has received the first batch of Set-Top-Boxes delivered by SMK Engineering Limited and Gospell Digital Technology Limited.

On hand to receive the boxes was the Acting Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Ms. Alheri Saidu, accompanied by the Commission’s Board of Management.

According to Saidu, “Today is a significant day for the commission. The day we all had been looking forward to. We are also happy with you the licensees because you actually gave this assignment all the seriousness it deserves.”

She pointed out that, “This will now show to Nigerians that we are serious about Nigeria going Digital. Today, we thank God we have the first sets of evidence of our seriousness towards the digital switchover.”

She expressed excitement at the prospect of meeting the deadline of June 20, 2017 for the planned digital switchover and thanked the licensees for their commitment and tenacity.

“Jos is a must for us. The plan we have for Jos launch will certainly be attained,” she added.

Responding, the Managing Director of Gospell Digital Technology Limited, and Chairman, Set-Top-Boxes Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Godfrey Ohuabunwa, demonstrated the features of the Set-Top Boxes, detailing its advantages and method of operation. He noted that these were high standard boxes that were among the best one could get in the West African sub-region, whose features and quality were comparable to any in the world.
Ohuabunwa noted that the association was very proud that delivery had begun successfully. He explained that the remaining sets would be cleared and delivered to the Commission shortly.

SMK Engineering, which is the second company that also delivered the first set of Set-Top-Boxes, with an initial delivery of 50,000 boxes to Nigeria, assured Nigerians of its readiness to support the digital switchover project.
At the delivery ceremony were representatives of Cable Channels Nigeria Limited (CCNL); Newline; INVIEW Nigeria, each of whom has a critical role to play in the acquisition and deployment of the set-top-boxes and the digital switchover.

Analysts said this is a renewed effort by the Commission to meet the new deadline of June 20, 2017, agreed to by the West African sub region, in compliance with the International Telecoms Union (ITU) mandate to switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.