Wednesday, April 7, 2021

After 3-year break with digital migration Nigeria says the country is restarting its switch-over process, plans to complete DTT transition by end of 2022.

by Thinus Ferreira

After a 3-year break during which nothing happened, Nigeria's government now plans to resume its digital migration process to move the country from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting, with the West African country that now says it plans to complete Nigeria's switch by the end of 2022.

Professor Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), says that the country’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) project will be completed by the end of 2022 when the country will fully shift from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.

"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," says Professor Armstrong Idachaba.

"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."

Professor Armstrong correct that Nigeria stated its digital migration process in Jos, Plateau State in 2016, followed by Abuja, Kwara, Kaduna, and Enugu - but the process then ground to a halt in Osogbo in February 2018.

After what appears to be a three-year break, blamed in part on a lack of political will and financial constraints, the launch will now resume in the country’s big cities, notably Lagos, with a completion date of the middle of 2022.

Nigeria, like South Africa and several other African countries, have missed the original deadline that was set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for completion of the switchover process that was meant to happen in June 2015.

South Africa's long-stalled DTT switch-over process has been marred the past decade and counting by corruption, constantly changing DTT standards, court cases and incompetent ministers of communications changing annually.