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FG Set Up Ministerial Task Force On DSO

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Joel Ajayi

Federal Government , has inaugurated a 13-member ministerial task force to drive the Digital Switch Over DSO process in the broadcasting sector.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed inaugurated the task force at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister himself is chairing the task force.

He said, “With the payment approval by FEC, and with 31 states to cover, we have our work cut out for us

According to him, today marks the third year that we last launched the DSO in any state, and that was in Osun State on Feb. 23rd, 2018. You will recall that we launched the pilot program in Jos, Plateau State, on April 30th 2016, followed by Abuja on Dec. 22nd, 2016, then Ilorin, Kwara State, on Dec. 20th 2017; Kaduna two days later on Dec. 22nd 2017, Enugu on Feb. 12th 2018 and finally, as I said earlier, Osogbo on Feb. 23rd 2018.

“With the payment approval by FEC, and with 31 states to cover, we have our work cut out for us. We have no more excuses for not rapidly rolling out the DSO across the country, hence my decision to set up a 13-member Ministerial Task Force, which I will personally chair, to take charge of the rollout.

“Before I announce the composition of the Task Force, let me make some comments about the DSO process. At a stakeholders’ meeting here on Aug. 25th 2020, I said we will be pursuing a private-sector driven DSO, that there will be no more subsidies, either of Set-Top-Boxes or of Signal carriage, and that the process must be self-sustaining. I want to reiterate that point today.

“We have studied the trend and it is clear that we have to reduce government involvement in the DSO ecosystem and allow the private sector to take the lead, on purely commercial terms. With the devastating effects of Covid-19 and the fall in government revenues, the Federal Government can no longer afford to subsidize the program, especially the Set-Top-Boxes and the Signal carriage, which ordinarily can and should be highly-competitive commercial ventures. And in order to begin the commercialization of the DSO, we need to create a structure and an ecosystem that is self-sufficient, self-reliant, and able to generate revenue which will drive strategic growth in key areas. The details of that structure are for the Task Force to explore.

“We have no more excuses for not rapidly rolling out the DSO across the country, hence my decision to set up a 13-member Ministerial Task Force, which I will personally chair, to take charge of the rollout.”

He listed members of the task force and the organizations they represent as :  Prof. Armstrong Idachaba (National Broadcasting Commission);  Edward Amana (Digiteam); Tunde Adegbola (Digiteam); Sa’a Ibrahim (Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria);  Sadeeq Musa (ITS); and Godfrey Ohuabunwa (Set-Top-Box Manufacturers); who is also standing in for the BON Chair.

Others are Lekan Fadolapo (APCON); Aisha  Omar ( Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning); J. O. Attah (Nigeria Customs Service);  Nnanna Ibom ( Ministry of Information and Culture); Olusegun Yakubu (Pinnacle Communications); and Joe Mutah ( Ministry of Information and Culture) who will serve as Secretary.

The Ministerial Task Force, saddled with the responsibility of driving the Federal Government’s Digital Switch Over project, is hereby inaugurated.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for agreeing to serve on this Task Force.

The success of the Digital Switch Over process now rests on your shoulders. He charged.

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Guber 2023: APC Youths Summon Akan Udofia

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…Warn Habitual Candidates To Stay Off

Editor

A Coalition of All Progressives Congress Youth in Akwa Ibom State has called on billionaire oil magnate, Mr. Akanimo Udofia, to consider contesting for governorship of the State come 2023 on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Udofia is the CEO/Managing Director, Desicon Engineering Limited, an engineering, procurement and construction services company, one of the major service providers in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. He was rumoured recently to have joined partisan politics on the platform of APC.

The APC youth coalition, which is an amalgamation of major political youth groups in the main opposition party in the State, made this call last Sunday, during its inaugural meeting at Akwa Ibom Renaissance Secretariat, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Anthony Bassey, the leader of Akwa Ibom Renaissance, urged youths to close ranks and objectively weighed antecedents of every intending governorship aspirant against the collective dreams of Akwa Ibom people.

He said the era of use and dump politics is over as youths are determined to assert themselves and get involved in every aspect of state development from electioneering to governance, adding that the decision to call on Mr. Akanimo Udofia to contest the 2023 governorship election in the State was reflective of current expectations of Akwa Ibom youths.

Governor Udom Emmanuel (l) with Mr. Akanimo Udofia (m) and Senator Godswill Akpabio (r) during an award presentation ceremony in 2018.

A communique from the group, made available to The Guide Newspapers further strengthened this position, which was reached after a reassessment of the chances of the party and the desires of the younger generation to raise the ante of governance in the State and Nigeria as a whole come 2023 and beyond.

Giving reasons for its choice of Udofia, the group stated that “the State at this time is in dire need of a governor whom the people can look up from his past and current development drive and economic pursuits and connections within and around the Nation and the world and can easily attract industries, capital investment and strong capacity and ability to harness his personal resources and wealth of business acumen to the wealth and resources of the State for the general good of all irrespective of party lines, religious affinity, social status and inclinations; a detribalized Akwa Ibomite, a national and internationally known and recognized figure who could break even at any stage in the world for the good of the State.”

It continued that “after a thorough, painstaking soul search, we have come to the inescapable conclusion and we vouch for MR. AKANIMO UDOFIA as such a person that possesses all the earlier listed qualities, credibility and charisma that will give us victory with ease and will not be a disappointment to our great party and state come 2023.

“His aspiration will boost our chances and help to add quality and value to our primaries and general Elections come 2023. We hereby extend the call to our illustrious and distinguished son to contest the 2023 general election as Governor of Akwa Ibom state.”

Mr. Anthony Bassey, addressing representatives of APC youth groups in the State during the meeting at Akwa Ibom Renaissance Secretariat, Uyo, last Sunday.

The youth coalition acknowledged President Mohammed Buhari’s efforts to enhance APC’s political capital in the State through various appointments of party chieftains in his government, which sadly failed to bring about notable political gain to the party hence it admonished [federal political appointees] to harmoniously work together to foster the positive nest of political gains in Akwa Ibom State.

Furthermore, the group warned habitual governorship candidates in the party to take a break and embrace change, noting that from past contests they have tested their popularity and known their strength “we also have come to know in real political participation paradigm their strengths and weaknesses hence we appreciate all they have built for the party and their followers’ strength at each congresses and general elections notwithstanding.

“It is our earnest position that owing to their antecedents and precedents in past elections we note that if they continue to work together and see more of the party good and push forward an acceptable more credible, younger, youth friendly candidate and push same for presentation to the Akwa Ibom people, it will be very easy for our great party to take over government”. The group posited.

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