THE hope of residents of Ilorin the KWARA State capital and some other states of the federation covering North Central Geo-Political zone to enjoy the newly installed Digital Switch Over (DSO) equipment installed in ilorin, may be dashed due to the quality of the equipment at Ilorin zone.
Some concerned Broadcast engineers who saw the equipment installed at the Ganmo NTA station in the state, described the equipment as not only sub-standard but obsolete.
According to investigation, the digital equipment in question which has been installed by a Chinese company, the signal distributor (ITS) was alleged to be the equipment bought by Benedict Murray-Bruce in 1999 when he was the Director General of NTA. Investigations also revealed that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) under the headship of Is’haq Moddibo Kawu had paid the Chinese company about one point seven billion Naira for the project.
“This substandard equipment if not quickly replaced might frustrate the good intention and efforts of the present administration to make the zone to meet the new deadline of June, this year which is the mandate of ITU to switch over from analogue to digital” some concerned broadcast engineers lament.
The shoddy installation was blown open last week when the Director-General of the commission, Moddibo Kawu who hails from Ilorin led other management team to commission the NTA Ilorin Digital project which was unlike the commissioning ceremonies of the DSO projects witnessed in Abuja and Jos in Plateau State which witnessed lot of fanfare and the presence of other stakeholders in government and the media industry.
The NBC had earlier assured Nigerians that the next move is to simultaneously switch on six states each drawn from the geo-political zones of the country.
The switch on digital TV broadcasting in Abuja signalled the gradual disconnect of analogue broadcasting in Nigeria though, a scheme most Nigerians do not have much knowledge about yet.
Disturbed by this development under the era of President Muhammadu Buhari, some concerned people have therefore called on the DG of NBC, Moddibo Kawu, who definitely is a stakeholder in the project and a highly respected broadcaster and the information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to urgently call the company handling the project to replace the obsolete and substandard equipment so that the people of the state and the entire zone shall not be robbed of not benefiting from the Digital Switch Over (DSO).
*Oladejo sent in this piece from Baboko, Ilorin