The House of Representatives on Thursday sought the enactment of a new broadcast law for the country to incorporate digital broadcasting.
Principally, the House wants the new law to clearly define the “roles and responsibilities of the Federal, State, Local Governments and the private sector.”
Innovations expected include legalising Digital Access Fee and Conditional Access Fee.
The recommendations were contained in the report of an ad hoc committee of the House, which investigated the “Process of Digital Switch Over in Nigeria.”
The House considered and approved the recommendations at its session presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, in Abuja.
The report was laid by the committee chairman, Mr. Sunday Katung.
The report also sought the amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission Act to strengthen its regulatory duties and “develop a standard regulatory documentation for digital broadcasting, as contained in the White Paper report.”
The House added, “The NBC and the Ministry of Information should develop the proposed National Media Content Policy for Digital TV era, covering a media content Master Plan.”
On the manufacturing of Set Top Box for the operation of the switch over era, the House asked the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to monitor compliance with standards, “to avoid a situation where the country is turned into a dumping ground for sub-standard and obsolete equipment.”
It also recommended the withdrawal of the licences awarded to manufacturers to produce the boxes if they fail to establish plants in the country.
The House noted that the idea of establishing plants in the country was to generate employment opportunities for its army of unemployed youths.
The House called for a thorough supervision of the ongoing implementation of the DSO in phases and directed that “at least 80 per cent of an assigned state” should be covered before moving to another state.
It also directed that “analogue broadcasting should not be switched off until 95 per cent DSO coverage is achieved in the country.”