Three years to a June 2015 deadline, absent policies to support local manufacture of digital receivers is hampering Nigeria’s transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, said NBC director-general Yomi Bolarinwa.
"As of today the main ingredient needed for viewers to receive digital signals on their essentially analogue sets is not readily available and where its available its not at a cost easily affordable for the average Nigerian," said Bolarinwa.
Speaking at a parley to mark the 20th year of the National Broadcasting Commission, he said government needed to provide incentives for potential manufacturers of set top devices to effect the "digital switch", agreed in 2006.
"All these are policy driven, and once you don’t have the policy on ground, it will not work," he said.
He suggested strict laws to protect would-be makers and prevent import of substandard products.
The switch has already missed a June 2012 deadline for a preliminary phase but a new Digiteam task force is expected to be inaugurated in three weeks to ensure the country transits "in orderly fashion and in good time," said Bolarinwa.
For the transition to be considered a success, at least 95% of Nigerians with access to television must also have access to the digital receivers.