The National Broadcasting Commission is set to intensively pursue the enactment of a new broadcasting act that will strictly govern the transmission and reception of television signals in the post digitization era to commence in Nigeria by January 2015.
The new law will empower three major signal distributors to be derived from 2 independent distributors, licensed through an open bid and an independent body that will be gotten from the present national television authority to power the digitization process.
Director General of the commission, Mr Emeka Mba told broadcasters at a sensitization summit in Abuja that only a strong legal backing will ensure Nigeria gets it right come 2015.
Deadline for the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial transmission has been postponed several times in the past in Nigeria. However, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC says Nigeria must hit the January 2015 mark and all efforts are on to get appropriate legal backing.
For digitization to become reality in Nigeria, however, many deliverables like regulatory frameworks, content funding, distribution and viewers’ access to terrestrial transmission must be put in place before the second quarter of 2014.
As the digitization plan intensifies, Channels Television is certified ready for the new era. The National Broadcasting Commission has given the organisation license for terrestrial transmission until 2016.
The newly appointed Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, has said that owners of analogue televisions in Nigeria will by June 2015 have to purchase a set top box to enable them receive television signals.
This is due to the deadline for the nation’s broadcast stations to switch over to digital transmission by June 2015.
According to him, the digitisation of television will allow more room for spectrum expansion for the nation’s broadband and internet penetration.
Mr Mba was speaking as a guest on Channels TV breakfast programme, Sunrise daily, where he revealed that there are already about two million digital televisions in Nigeria and these would not need the set top boxes.
Affirming that the right to information is a human right, the newly appointed NBC boss explained that the set top boxes will enable owners of analogue television watch digital transmission and that it will be subsidised by the federal government as it is done globally.
He further revealed that some new companies will be licensed to be ‘Signal Distributors’ of transmissions coming from the television stations in the Country.
There will soon be a bidding process for the potential signal distributors he adds.
Mr Mba denied that a new national signal distributor has been licensed, explaining that the role of StarTimes with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is a test run as dictated by the ITU that national broadcasters should lead the digitisation.
He also explained that in the next two months, the commission will launch a test-run of the digitization in phases.
President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointments of a number of chief executives for some federal government agencies amongst which is the appointment of Mr Emeka Mba as the new Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Mr Mba was formerly the Director General of National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB).
Other appointments approved by President Jonathan are Hajiya Inna Maryamm Ciroma, as the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority.
Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, is appointed at Executive Director of the National Tourism Development Corporation.
Mr. Bature Masadi is to take over as the Director- General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, while Mrs. Dukpe C. Atoki, heads to the Consumer Protection Council as it’s Director–General.
Other appointees are; Engr. Danjuma Dabo as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation and Prof. Eli Jidere, as the Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria.
The statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Anyim Pius Anyim, announced that all the appointees are expected to resume duties immediately.
Broadcasting license of the Wazobia FM in Kano State North West Nigeria has been revoked with immediate effect.
According a source working with the station in Kano, at about 4:45PM on Friday they received a circular from the Nigerian broadcasting commission banning all broadcasting operation of the station in Kano.
“Although NBC has not given us any reason for revoking our license but am sure this may not be unconnected with the recent controversy regarding our Hausa programme Sandar Girma which was said to have incited the killing of nine female health workers in the state.”
All effort to get in touch with the representatives of NBC in Kano was not successful, however all broadcasting operations in Wazobia FM has been interrupted.
The newly established station came with a critical analysis of political activities in the politically sensitive Kano state which many politicians especially the ruling class frown at.