NEDG, BON Fix January 19 For 2019 Presidential Election Debate

The Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the dates for 2019 presidential and vice-presidential election debate.

The presidential debate is fixed for January 19, 2019, while vice-presidential candidates are billed to have their debate on December 14, 2018.

Chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh (OON), made the announcement on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, said the debates will be aired on all BON member radio and television stations across the country and also streamed on social media platforms.

“The Nigerian Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria are organising a presidential debate on January the 19th, 2019 and a vice presidential debate on December the 14th, 2018.

“The debates would hold at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja and will be broadcast live on all BON member radio and television stations across the country.

“The debates will also be streamed live on all mobile and social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter And Instagram, to give it a global coverage,” he said.

Mr Momoh added that the debates will focus on the issues that matter most to working families; restoring our economy, providing electricity, creating jobs, securing health care for every Nigerian, making and achieving excellence in every Nigerian school and ensuring safety and security for Nigerians.

He said the NEDG will also set the formats and rules of the debate.

“The Nigerian Election Debate Group would set the format and rules of the debate, handle moderation, outline the criteria for political party participation, ensure the objectivity of audiences and steer negotiations between broadcasters and the parties.

“Nigerians expect the leaders of all political parties to be challenged in a very public and robust way in these debates. not just one of them, but a series of them,” he said.

Digital Switch-Over: BON Chairman Initiates Stakeholders’ Meeting

BON Chairman Meets With Information MinisterAhead of the June 2017 deadline for digital switch-over, the federal government is hoping to facilitate a meeting of players in the broadcast industry to resolve issues affecting digitization in the country.

During a meeting with the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in Abuja, the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, suggested that the meeting be held to aggregate the challenges affecting digitization and proffer solutions to them.

He told Channels TV that the digital switch-over was on course but there were gray areas that need to be resolved.

He said: “He (Minister) has an ear to the ground and knows what he is doing as regards the digital switch-over and he welcomed the idea of a stakeholders’ meeting which I put forward.

“The stakeholders’ meeting will be such that will get (together) people like the fiber companies, the broadcasters, the platform carriers, signal distributor, content aggregators and producers as well as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) who should actually be one of the stakeholders since they monitor the kind of setup boxes that would be manufactured in the country.

“We will all come to the table and address the issues confronting the DSO.”

The Minister admitted that the meeting was necessary and should be held regularly until the target date.

He hoped that the meeting would be called soon as it would “not only discuss issues that are strategic and important to the process”.

“We are talking about channels owners, setup box manufacturers, the distributors, the aggregators; everybody.

“We need to meet regularly so that as we move forward, we would ensure nobody is left behind,” the Minister said.

BON Allays Fears Of Broadcasting Blackout After Digital Switch Over

BON LogoThe Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has allayed fears of blackout of analogue broadcasting after digital switch over from June 17 this year.

The Chairman of the organisation, Mr Sola Omole, made the clarification at a news conference in Abuja, ahead of a 2-day summit with players in the broadcast industry before the June 17 deadline of switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting in Nigeria.

Nigeria is signatory to the treaty that was signed at the end of the 2006 International Telecommunications Conference, where a resolution was made that Africa, the Middle East and the Republic of Iran should switch from analogue to digital broadcasting by June 17, 2015.

Since then, the organisation has urged broadcasters to prepare for the switch from analogue to digital.

According to Mr. Omole, although BON and other stakeholders, including the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) are working to meet the deadline, the switch from analogue to digital will be in phases.

The Director-General of the NBC, Mr Emeka Mba, also clarified what would happen to transmission signals to other African countries who may not meet up with the switch-over date.

Nigeria launched a pilot phase of the switch from analogue to digital broadcast in Jos, Plateau State last year,

The NBC said that the exercise showed that the switch was possible except for the availability of set-up boxes which it is currently working at providing.