NBC Spends N$26m on 620,000 Set-up Boxes for Nigerian Homes

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By Hammed Shittu in Ilorrin

The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Alhaji Modibo Kawu, on Monday said that the commission has expended the sum of $26 million to procure 620,000 set-up boxes for Nigerian homes, adding that the procurement is part of the digital switch-over of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Speaking with journalists  in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, after inspecting the digital switch-over station of NTA, Kawu said that NBC decided to embark on the switch-over in phases across the country because of its huge financial implications.

According to him, “We are going to have it in phases because digital switch-over is a major challenge in terms of technology and logistics. The 620,000 boxes that we have procured for the first phase cost us $26 million. That is a huge amount of money, considering that we have about 35 million homes in Nigeria.

“Each box is about $45. Multiply that by 35 million homes, we are going to have signal systems across Nigeria. It is a very expensive process. Now we are going to six states in each of the geo-political zones. They are Kwara in the North-central, Osun (South-west), Gombe (North-east), Kaduna (North-west), Enugu (South-east) and Delta (South-south).

“When a country switches over to digital, it immediately changes the architecture of television in the country. We are moving from analogue form of watching television to a digital format. Let me give you a small example, when we switched over last year in Jos. Hitherto, the city was watching between three and four television channels and immediately they started watching 15 channels.  When we switched over in Abuja, we started giving them 30 channels.”

Details later…