The federal government has announced the rollout of the digital switch-over in four more states, two years after it was launched in six states.

The switch-over, DSO, is meant to transform the television broadcasting system across the country from the current analogue to digital mode.

The first rollout was launched in Jos (April 30, 2016), Abuja ( December 22, 2016), Ilorin (December 20, 2017), Kaduna (December 22, 2017),  Enugu ( February 12, 2018), and Osogbo (February 23, 2018). 

Delivered under the brand name, FreeTV, the DSO in this period has translated to an increasing digital television penetration and better quality television service in those states. Other benefits so far include job creation in the creative and set-top box manufacturing and retail sectors; the creation of an information outlet for the government to reach households in Nigeria and a PushVOD service that provides a secure outlet for Nollywood movies distribution to Nigerians.

The acting director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission of Nigeria, Armstrong Idachaba, said under the second phase, the programme will be rolled out in Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Yobe and Gombe States.  

“The new timetable will therefore be kick-started with a rollout in Lagos state on 29th of April 2021, Kano state on 3rd June 2021 and Rivers state on 8th July, 2021; on the heels of these states will be switch on of Yobe state on 15th July, 2021 and Gombe state on 12th August 2021,” he said.

“Following this rollout, the signal distributors are expected to within the same period complete the installation of additional transmitters and gap fillers to attain 70% to 80% coverage in the existing six locations in phase 1.”

He said the first Analogue Switch Off is slated to take place on May 28 in Abuja. The remaining phase 1 states of Plateau, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, and Osun will follow in June, August, and September 2021.

What this means is that effective from the date of analogue switch-off, television broadcast can only be received with the DSO-approved setup boxes. Adequate quantities of these boxes will be made available by the authorised set-up box manufacturers for these locations.

Details Later…