In preparation to fully transit Lagos from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting on April 29, the Acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba has commended ITS Ltd and their partners, StarTimes, for putting in place the required transmitters.
Speaking after an inspection tour of digital transmitters at NTA Station, Channel 10, Tejuosho, Lagos on Friday, Idachaba said that the country hopes to have completed the digital rollout by 2022.
He said, “Nigeria has taken a decision that we are continuing with the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. The journey practically began in 2016 with the pilot rollout in Jos. And a few years after, we have gone into phase two. Under phase two, Lagos, Port Harcourt and other cities will be switched on to digital TV. We are going to many other cities and following the rollout time table, we hope that by the end of 2022, we would have completed the digital rollout in Nigeria.
“This visit to the NTA premises in Tejuosho is in furtherance of this objective. We are glad that ITS Ltd has already installed DVB2 technology. We have seen that the installed capacity for DTT transmission is very high. I acknowledge the role of their partners, StarTimes and I think that between NTA and StarTimes, there is a great combined effort to ensure that the rollout happens in Lagos and other cities in Nigeria quickly.
“This inspection is reassuring. It means that we have the technical and infrastructural capabilities, and are ready to kick off in Lagos on April 29.
On the availability of set-up boxes, the DG said that thirteen indigenous companies have been licensed to produce set-top boxes “because we believe that that is also another strategy to transfer technology and create opportunities for manufacturing within the Nigerian market.”
“Digital Switch Over is a revolution and it is also capital-intensive. All over the world, from America to the UK and many developed and emerging economies, the cost is massive. The federal government has also decided that the project itself, seeing how viable it is can also be self-sustained. So we are hoping that some of the component players will be able to go forward to generate their own funds to sustain the rollout but one must also acknowledge that the government has assisted greatly. Recently, the federal government approved N9.4billion for NBC to facilitate the DSO drive.
Also speaking, Alex Jian, Acting CEO, NTA-Star TV Network, said the company’s technical team is ready to support the nation in transiting fully to digital TV.
“The NBC DG has a big strategy for DSO and NTA-StarTimes will cooperate very well with ITS Ltd to support this project. Our technical team is ready. We have already prepared ourselves for this switch over all over the country.”
On StarTimes’ plan to make digital-TV more accessible to Nigerians, Alex said.
“Our mission is to provide affordable digital service nationwide. So we are providing affordable decoders and our bouquets are much more affordable. On our coverage, we have more than 60 base stations nationwide. In some base stations, we are losing money because there are a small population and few customers but we are still holding our position there. Our goal is to make everyone enjoy digital life.
“To make pay-TV more accessible, we have also created a pay-per-day module and we have implemented this for more than three years. People can pay per day to watch what they like; they don’t need to pay for the whole month because if they are not watching TV, it’s a waste of money. Therefore, our service is more affordable,” Alex said.
President Buhari To Speak At The 76th UN General Assembly By 2 PM
President Muhammadu Buhari is set to address the 76th Session of the high-level General Debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The Nigerian leader will deliver his address at 2 PM Nigerian time (9 AM in New York) to other world leaders during the morning session.
Buhari will speak to the theme of the Assembly and other global issues.
The theme for the 76th session is, “Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nation’’.
Friday’s session will also include speeches by leaders from The Gambia, South Sudan, Republic of Benin, Senegal and Germany, among others.
The Nigerian leader has participated in some bilateral meetings with a number of leaders of other countries’ delegations and heads of International Development organisations.
Buhari has met with the President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, held a meeting with Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and also attended the UN Food Systems Summit.
The Nigerian leaders also held a bilateral meeting with Her Majesty, Maxima Zorreguieta, Queen of The Netherlands and participated at a hybrid High-Level event, tagged “Transformative Actions for Nature and People”.
In addition, the President delegation had participated in other high-level meetings such as the Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on Reparations, Racial Justice and Equality for People of African Descent.
The delegation is also attended the High-Level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, among others.
Over 8,000 Nigerian Doctors Now Work In UK, 353 Registered In The Last 100-Day
The United Kingdom (UK) registered about 353 Nigerian doctors in the last 100 days, according to data from the General Medical Council – the body which licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK.
The GMC licensed at least 353 Nigerian-trained doctors between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021.
The statistics also showed that between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021, about 862 Nigeria-trained doctors were licensed in the UK despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data also showed that 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK.
Officials of the National Association of Resident Doctors are speculating that the rate of migration might double in the coming weeks since doctors were not given the right remuneration.
They said that many Nigerian doctors are migrating to Saudi Arabia, which might be more than those moving to the UK.
A poll by NOI in 2018 showed that 88 percent of Nigerian doctors were considering work opportunities abroad, but experts say the figure may be higher due to the rising insecurity and economic crunch.
Elections in Africa Must Follow Democratic Process – Osinbajo
Africans must continue to make the extra effort in ensuring that elections in the continent go through the democratic process, remain transparent and fair, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
He said this yesterday while receiving the President-elect of Sao Tome and Principe, Mr. Carlos Manuel Vila Nova who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.
On the 18th of July, 2021, elections were held in Sao Tome to replace President Evaristo Carvalho, whose tenure expired on 3rd September, 2021. Based on constitutional provisions, an outright winner did not emerge from the polls and a run-off led to the emergence of Mr. Vila Nova, who would be sworn in 2nd October, 2021.
According to Prof Osinbajo “there is no question at all that for those of us in Africa, we must make the extra effort to ensure that the democratic process is very transparent. It is such a pleasure to see that that was what took place in your country which led to your election.”
Speaking about areas of cooperation between both countries, the Vice President said, “we already talked about some of the areas of cooperation…your tenure might be an opportunity to bring some of those things to fruition.”
Prof Osinbajo reassured Mr. Manuel Vila Nova of Nigeria’s support to ensure that “your tenure is as comfortable and effective as possible as partners and friends.”
In his own remarks, President-elect Vila Nova expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Sao Tome and also thanked the Vice President for his attention, stating that Nigeria is a “friendly country” and the relationship between both countries dates back many years.
In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and a member of the Sao Tome and Principe’s cabinet, Mr. Americo de Oliveira Ramos.
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