Monday, April 12, 2021

Lai Mohammed unveils taskforce for Nigeria’s Digital Switch Over, appoints self as chair


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has constituted a Ministerial Task Force saddled with the responsibility of driving the Federal Government’s Digital Switch Over, DSO, project in the country.

Inaugurating the Task Force during a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the minister appointed himself as the chairman of the committee, while Joe Mutah, his Press Secretary, will serve as Secretary.

Other members of the Task Force included the following:
2. Prof. Armstrong Idachaba (National Broadcasting Commission)
3. Engineer Edward Amana (Digiteam);
4. Dr. Tunde Adegbola (Digiteam);
5. Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim (Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria);
6. Engineer Sadeeq Musa (ITS);
7. Mr. Godfrey Ohuabunwa (Set-Top-Box Manufacturers); who is also standing in for the BON Chair
8. Dr. Lekan Fadolapo (APCON);
9  Ms. Aisha Shehu Omar (Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning);
10. Mr J. O. Attah (Nigeria Customs Service); represented here by Mr Dalhatu
11. Mr. Nnanna Ibom (Federal Ministry of Information and Culture);
12. Engineer Olusegun Yakubu (Pinnacle Communications);
13) Mr. Toyin Zubair (Inview)

Speaking on the decision for the constitution of the taskforce, the minister said the Federal Government needed to reduce its involvement in the DSO ecosystem and allow the private sector to take the lead, on purely commercial terms.

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“With the devastating effects of Covid-19 and the fall in government revenues, the Federal Government can no longer afford to subsidize the program, especially the Set-Top-Boxes and the Signal carriage, which ordinarily can and should be highly-competitive commercial ventures.

“My decision to set up the Ministerial Task Force to drive the DSO process is hinged on the fact that a successful Digital Switch Over is a massive job creator and a huge revenue generator, this process is capable of creating over 1 million jobs over the next three years.

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“As part of our efforts to maximize the opportunities available in the process, we have made necessary changes in the Broadcast Code to protect local jobs and production, we have started the process of introducing world class Audience Measurement and Media Monitoring to deliver on our potential 1-billion-dollar TV and Online Advertising revenue market and now we will ensure that the DSO ecosystem delivers value to the economy,” the minister disclosed.

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