By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Enugu state government has announced plans to distribute10,000 set top boxes valued at N15 million for free to low income rural dwellers across the 475 autonomous communities of the state to enable them gain access to digital TV. Governor of Enugu State, Engr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, revealed this yesterday to mark the launch of the digital switch over (DSO) from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTV) in the state.
Governor Ugwuanyi while speaking at the zonal headquarters of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Enugu, commended the efforts of the Federal Government towards the realization of the DSO launch in the state which he said is a landmark achievement in TV broadcasting in the country.
According to him, the 10,000 set top boxes will ensure that indigent families in the state are not left out enjoying the digital transition.
“As a state, we are fully conscious of possible discomfort that economically challenged families will face when they experience disruption in accessing free-to-air television. This, in our judgment, is the major reason the federal government has committed to produce and subsidize 10-million set top boxes for distribution to poor households in Nigeria.
“We are keen to encourage the federal government to make good this promise so that this unique service will be available to most Nigerians especially the rural poor.As a government, we have intervened on behalf of our people by purchasing ten thousand (10,000) set top boxes which will be distributed free of charge to identified low income households in our rural areas,” Ugwuanyi disclosed.
The governor said that local government councils would also use the opportunity offered by the process to increase the internally generated revenue of the state.
“The digitization process will drastically reduce the cost of deploying and managing our costly state television infrastructure, and ultimately improve the internally generated revenue (IGR) of our local governments.”
Enugu in the south east of Nigeria is the fifth state to get DSO after Jos, Abuja, Ilorin and Kaduna. The government plans to have DSO completed in 12 states by ending of Q2 or beginning of Q3.