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FG pays outstanding debts on Digital Switch Over project – Minister

Federal Government has paid all debts owed to service providers under the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Tuesday in Abuja.

He made the declaration at the 26th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).

The DSO is the globally-endorsed process of transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Presenting the scorecard of the ministry, Mohammed recalled that after Nigeria had missed the deadline for the DSO a number of times, the Buhari administration re-launched the whole digital transition process.

He said the re-launch resulted in the pilot launch of the DSO in Jos in April 2016 and subsequent roll out in Abuja, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu, Osun, Lagos and Kano states.

The minister also recalled that following a stall in the DSO process the Federal Government resolved that for the transition to be sustainable it should be a private-sector-driven exercise.

According to him, the DSO must be self-sustaining and there will be no more subsidies either on Set Top Boxes or on signal carriage.

He said the ministry, therefore, pledged to work with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Federal Executive Council to secure funds to pay the outstanding debts

The minister said also that reforms embarked upon at the National Broadcasting Commission were in line with government’s drive to provide job opportunities for Nigerians.

He said amendments made to the National Broadcast Code were aimed at encouraging the development and growth of local content in the broadcast industry.

Mohammed stressed that the Buhari administration had succeeded in making ground-breaking reforms in Nigeria’s advertising and marketing communications industry.

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