The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mr Modibo Kawu has said that lack of funds is responsible for the delay in the switchover to digital broadcasting.
Mr Kawu explained that broadcasting is expensive and requires a lot of funds and the lack of it has been responsible for the slow pace of action.
He made this known during the inspection of the digital station in Kwara State in the company of the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed.
According to him, the government is trying to prioritize its funding especially because Nigeria just recently recovered from a recession.
“We are going to be launching in phases, that is the decision we took because a digital switchover in a very huge country like this requires a lot of funds and when Nigeria is just moving out of recession.
“The country has to take a decision between putting money in infrastructural development, hospitals and what not and also having to put a huge amount of money into digital switchover. I am sure if the Nigerian government says we are putting all the money into digital switchover, you will be the very first person to complain so the government has to prioritize its funding.
“The national digital switchover will come in phases,” he added.
This comes less than a week after the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria Mr John Momoh warned that if the Federal Government does not review the digital switchover process, the deadline for the switchover will not be met.
He said this at the maiden edition of the MTN F.I.R.E Series where he was the inaugural keynote speaker.
Also speaking during the 68th General Assembly of the BON in Abuja, Mr Momoh had accused the regulator of being silent on many critical issues affecting its members.
According to him, Chief among the issues was “the compensation that should accrue to broadcast organisations who will be vacating frequencies in accordance with the White Paper on DSO.”
He, however, noted that the issues have been raised to the office of the Minister of Information and Culture and expressed hope that before the end of the year 2017, some of them would have been favourably resolved.