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Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
The federal government on Sunday launched the pilot scheme of switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting in Jos, Plateau state, signalling the commencement of a nationwide digitisation process.
To this end, the government will commence distribution of 200,000 free set-up boxes to households within the Jos metropolis and neighbouring communities, while other users will have to purchase a set-up box at the rate of N 1,500 each.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while performing the epochal function, noted that it was important for states and local governments throughout the federation to support the process by investing in the purchase of set-up boxes.
He said the next phase of switch over will be conducted in Abuja and Lagos.
According to the minister, about 30 million subscribers are being targeted across the country, which suggest one of the biggest television market in the world.
“We call on the local and state governments to help us by buying the boxes – which the Federal Government has highly subsidized – for their citizens. The Federal Government is also giving out, free of charge, the 200,000 boxes for this pilot phase. And the Plateau State Government has agreed to buy 300,000 boxes for their citizens. We are targeting 30 million viewers across the country, which will make Nigeria the biggest Free TV market in the world. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of this epoch-making process,” he said.