The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that more would be in achieved in the area of revenue generation by the Federal Government through the Digital Switch Over (DSO) across the country, particularly that of Lagos State.
Aside from the increase in revenue generation, the minister said that the project would also create massive job creation for teeming Nigerian youths roaming the streets without meaningful engagement.
Mohammed explained that the DSO which meant switch-on of digital television was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s resilience and determination to ensure success of the transition from analogue to digital television across the country.
Speaking on Thursday at the launch of DSO in Lagos, the minister who commended the State Government for their cooperation and support, said that with the 21st-century reality, the apex government would exploit the power and extensive reach of modern broadcasting in serving as a veritable tool for national development.
According to him, the democratization of digital television in Nigeria, which is what DSO is about, fits into the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for a digital economy in the country which is that of national technological development driven by Nigeria’s vibrant and creative young people; who are among the most dynamic in Africa and indeed the world.
“The switch-on of Lagos is unique and epochal because it marks the first time that the DSO project would be beaming 60 choice channels to television households. This is not by accident. Lagos is Nigeria’s creative hub, hence it is important to harness the creative talents that abound in the state through this project.
“Also, the DSO provides us with a great platform to key into the Lagos Smart City Project, which seeks to use technology to enhance service delivery in all spheres of life. The DSO is not just about high fidelity sound and picture, it is about creating jobs, especially for our teeming youth, stimulating local content, and empowering channel owners,” the minister said.
He added that the DSO television platform, branded as FreeTV, would offer viewers about 60 digital channels, including sports, music, movies, and news. The minister listed other services to include Enforcement & Collection of TV Licenses, Premium PayTV channels, Push Video on Demand, Information Services, and Audience Measurement among others.
“The project will therefore enhance the Lagos Smart City Project while revolutionizing television viewing for the more than 5 million TV households in the state. In addition, a large number of the 1 million jobs to be created by the DSO project in the next three years will come from Lagos. Since FreeTV helps to provide Value Added Services, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in the collection of Television & Radio Licenses from residents.
“With FreeTV’s push system for information services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast information on Lagos State activities to all viewers. It will also help Advertisers in Lagos to target which programmes and channels are being watched by the audience, while Lagosians can also cash in on the Push Video-on-Demand capability of the FreeTV platform to access premium blockbuster Nollywood movies from the comfort of their homes.
“FreeTV will be propelled largely by advertising revenue. Again, Lagos State stands out in this regard. With 70% of the nation’s advertisement revenue and over 5 million TV households, in addition to being the country’s creative hub, there is no doubt that Lagos is one of the engines of the DSO project,” the statement said.