“Lack of political will, interference stall journey from analogue to digital switch over”

By Felicia Nwosu

Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, the Executive Secretary of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) has asserted that lack of political-will on the part of government, interference and the inability to take prompt action, have stalled the smooth journey from analogue to Digital Switch Over (DSO), which began since 2007. The BON Executive Secretary made this statement in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE.

“It is not far-fetched at all. It is the lack of political will on the part of the government and the inability to take prompt action when they are supposed to have done so. Don’t forget that the journey of digital switchover began in 2007. The initial deadline for Nigeria was 2012, which was later shifted and they began to postpone it.”

Decrying the slow pace of the digital transition, Bamgbose recalled how the rolling out of the DSO has failed to meet the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) deadline severally, a failure he attributed to financial constraint. He also mentioned that, despite the fact that states such as Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have rolled out since 2016, followed by Lagos in 2012, as well as Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu, and Osun states, there is no evidence to prove they have moved  from analogue to digital broadcasting.

“For example in Lagos, where they have one or two transmitters in Surulere, it is impossible for people in Agege to receive the signal, not to talk of people in Epe or Badagry. That has been the situation. The last place they went to was Kano, but there is no evidence of a digital switch over there,” he said.

Affirming that government is a continuum, he expressed optimism that the newly elected government will be able to take up the challenge, but insisted that there is need for a total review of the framework guiding the digital switch-over before its real impact can be seen in the near future.

“For the digital ecosystem in broadcasting to work properly, we need to go back to the drawing board to know how far the project has gone and what the militating factors are; what is supposed to be done. Until we do that, we may not be able to go far with the transition to DSO. We are talking about equipment and Nigeria does not manufacture any broadcast equipment. It is all about money. There is a need to go back to the drawing board to do a thorough analysis of what the journey has been so far.

“Again, even if there is equipment, people are aware about the digital switch over, what it is all about. There is a need for enlightenment and awareness creation to enable the people to embrace it across. Are they aware of how they can access digital signals, are they aware of the platforms that are available to them.”


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