Digital Switchover: BON Urges FG To Ban Importation Of Analogue TV

As part of the measures to fast track the switch to digital broadcasting in Nigeria, the Central Working Committee of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has urged the Federal Government to place ban on importation of analogue television sets.

The Central Working Committee of BON made the recommendation after its meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to a communique jointly issued by the Chairman, Sa’a Ibrahim; and Executive Secretary, Yemisi Bambose, which was sent to our correspondent on Thursday, the meeting reviewed holistically, the process of digitisation, the formation of the Society of Nigerian Broadcasters, audience measurement, National Broadcasting Commission licence rates and other industry matters.

The communique was titled ‘Outcome of the Central Working Committee of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria Held on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.’

It partly read, “After careful deliberations, the CWC decides that the process of establishing the Society of Nigerian Broadcasters should begin immediately with a committee to work on modalities for its take off.

“The CWC calls for a complete review of the digitization process specifically in the area of legal framework as the only document available remains the government white paper of 2012, which does not capture contemporary technological development and its deficient in addressing decade long issues that have emerged since its issuance.

“Finds the collection of Digital Access Fee complicated and illegal. The meeting, therefore, calls for the immediate stoppage of the collection of Digital Access Fee, while the amount so far collected should be accounted for.

“The CWC proposes the following as broadcast license fees pending the final migration from analogue to digital per annum: National DTT, N20m; Regional, N10m; Abuja/Lagos/Kano and Port Harcourt, N15m; State DTT, N500,000.

“The CWC calls on Federal Government of Nigeria to ban importation of analogue TV sets into the country while the cost of set-top boxes should be made affordable.”

The CWC of BON also said the NBC should bring together, as a matter of urgency, all critical stakeholders in broadcast industry to take a total review of the entire digital switchover process.

The CWC has noted the reported directives given to broadcast stations on the issue of insurgence and banditry reportage. “While appreciating the concerns of NBC as regulator, BON believes there should be more interface with practitioners than issuing directives that are interpreted as moves to gag the industry,” the committee stated.

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