The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Emeka Mba, on Thursday said that all broadcast stations in Nigeria must go digital by December, 2014.

Mba made the statement during a “Digital Broadcast Summit’’ organised by the NBC in Lagos.

He said that the commission was determined to meet the digital switch over deadline of June 17, 2015.

The director-general said that the NBC was particular about digitization because it would improve the quality of broadcasting.

He said that it would facilitate provision of additional entertainment services and diversity of voices, including home language services.

“One of the benefits of digitization is that it will reduce the cost of operation for broadcast stations,’’ he added.

Mba said that the pilot stage of the digital switch over would take place by June 5 in Jos, while state’s broadcast stations would all go digital by June 10.

According to him, the pilot stage ought to have been completed by the first quarter of 2014, but the goal could not be achieved because of lack of funds.

He said that the commission was planning to effect the switch over in Lagos State by June 30.
”We will not switch off the analogue signal until we meet a level of digital coverage.

”However, we will put ourselves in all kinds of interference and distortions if we do not switch over to digital at the designated deadline,” he said.

The Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Sen. Bello Tukur, said that lawmakers desired growth of the broadcast industry and would provide all the necessary support.

Tukur said that the National Assembly would give maximum support on digitisation in terms of funds, approval and legal framework.

Prof. Herbert Orji, the Chairman, Board of NBC, said that the board was aware of the challenges of switching from analogue to digital.

Orji, who was represented by a member of the board, Mr Yomi Ayorinde, said that digitisation was real and not optional for the country.

He said that the board was determined that the switchover would be realised within the stated deadline. (NAN)