The Digiteam Chairman, Edward Amana, has announced the Federal Government’s initiative to source over 40 million set-top-boxes for the Digital Switch Over (DSO) initiative. The Digiteam was appointed to be the DSO’s presidential implementation committee and to oversee the set-top-boxes cost. According to the Digiteam Chairman, there is a growing concern regarding the decoders’ supply at the budgeted prices due to the current exchange rate.
At the initial stages of the process, manufacturers were selected based on an agreed cost of approximately $20 (N3500) per box. At the time, this cost was assumed to be fair and affordable for anyone who can own a television. However, since the last costings, the naira has depreciated. This means the $20 equivalent benchmark will retail the decoders at N9000.
Amana says a meeting was held with the set-to boxes’ manufacturers, and an agreement to maintain the same cost window of $20 equivalent has been stamped. The manufacturers have suggested an alternative access system, and different boxes meet the target within the specified budget.
In a previously released statement, it can be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, assured that the ministry would form a partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure that the purchasing of the raw materials for the manufacturing of the decoders was at a reduced tariff. This is to ensure that the decoders are sold at an affordable price for the average Nigerian.
The roll-out timetable for phase 2 for the DSO switch off the analogue signals on television platforms across the country was released earlier this year by the Federal Government.