The Federal Government yesterday assured that in spite of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, the country would not shut down.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the fact that Nigeria was passing through very challenging times did not mean that the nation would be cut off from the rest of the world.
Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Mr. Mohammed said the current “temporary” problems would not stop the government from meeting its global commitments.
He said the council considered and approved a memo brought by his ministry on the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting, noting that the June 2017 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, is sacrosanct.
The minister said the FEC had directed the relevant ministries to work together to meet the deadline.
“Twenty years ago, Ethiopia had famine that ravaged the whole country, they’ve risen from the ashes of that famine to become one of the strongest economies in the world. The fact that we are facing temporary problems does not mean that we are not going to be at pace with technology development all over the world. This is a global issue; it simply means that if we do not move from analogue to digital broadcasting, we may not be able to even receive signals on your television”, he said.
Mohammed, who hinted that two of the 13 manufacturers licensed were already producing set-up boxes, said the federal government would subsidize the boxes.
“Already, the pilot scheme in Jos, which was successfully deployed at the end of April, is working very well and today, those who are in possession of our set-up boxes can view 15 channels with clarity in Jos”, he said.