The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Digital Switch Over would grow the TV advertising market by $400 million annually through audience measurement.
The minister said this on Wednesday at the inauguration of the switch over from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Ilorin to cover Kwara.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the facilities for the switch over were provided by Integrated Television Services, the signal distributor for the Ilorin DSO.
The minister said the DSO would also create a N100 billion per annum FreeTV distribution network for Nollywood.
To achieve these, Mohammed said government would support the Nation’s Broadcasting Commission in its efforts to create a viable currency by which producers of content and channels could be re-enumerated.
Mohammed said that with the middleware in the Set Top Boxes, homes
would be able to buy and watch the latest Nollywood movies without the
need for internet.
He said: “Imagine a film released on Monday morning being immediately available to all the households in Kwara at the touch of a button.
“That’s the kind of experience we are talking about.’’
The minister said the DSO would create tens of thousands of jobs through Technical and Manufacturing opportunities.
Mohammed said: “Set Top Box assembling and ultimately manufacturing is an irreversible mandate by the government to the industry.
“We expect this to extend very quickly to local Smart TV and Tablet manufacturing.’’
He noted that the Ilorin inauguration had put the government back on track in digitisation efforts.
He said: “Let me assure you all that we will not wait for another year before our next rollout.
“In fact, the next inauguration will be barely 48 hours from now, in Kaduna. We will then follow up rapidly to extend this digital television experience to all the six geo-political zones.’’
He implored the ITS to rapidly extend the digital television experience beyond Ilorin and its environs, “so that the good people of Kwara can reap the digital benefits”.
The minister assured all stakeholders of President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwavering support for the growth and development of the industry.
In his remarks, the state Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed, said with DSO, the time had come to develop a television industry “that is uniquely Nigerian in content, orientation and style’’.
The governor said the nation’s television must achieve the fame and spread attained by the fledgling movie industry, Nollywood renowned globally for its prolificacy, richness and entertainment value.
The governor, represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Babatunde Ajagbe, said the freedom DSO provided should not be used to spread falsehood and fake news.
He specifically cautioned against the increasing dangers posed by uncensored political programmes in the state.