The National Assembly will not condone exploitation of Nigerians as the country transits from analogue to digital broadcasting, Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said.
The Speaker said this when he opened an investigate hearing by the House Adhoc Committee on the process of digital switchover in Nigeria.
Represented by Chief Whip Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Speaker noted that it is alleged that the process has been marred by procedural irregularities, inconsistencies, and misappropriation of funds generated to facilitate the digital switchover which needs to be thoroughly investigated by the Committee.
“I have heard from different quarters that the digital switch over will re-position the broadcast landscape architecture in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that what is doubtful is concretizing the great expectation of Nigerians on the current process of digital transition in the country.
“The National Assembly, with its responsibilities of representation will neither condone acts inimical to the development of the country nor allow Nigerians to be unduly exploited,” he said.
Dogara maintained that the impact of technological innovation on national development is quite massive and that “we should use all legislative tools at our disposal to ensure its success. It is in this light that I am extremely delighted to be part of this epoch making event.”
“Our aim is to ensure that Nigerians benefit maximally from this novel modernization. We will strive to avoid a situation where the country becomes a dumping ground for all forms of digital equipment.”
“I must commend the pilot phase of the Digital Switch-Over launched in Jos and Abuja, having failed at this noble cause twice. This notwithstanding, feedback from the launches has been a source of concern to the National Assembly. It is hoped that this exercise, a significant milestone to reposition our great country, will proffer a way forward to successfully transit from analogue to digital broadcasting.”
The Ad-Hoc Committee was set up by the House to among orher things invite all Stakeholders involved in the DSO programme with a view to ensuring that the process will meet the deadline, ensure quality and cost effective services to Nigerians; (ii) investigate the sale of the harvested Bandwidth to MTN, and the concession of the GUI value added services to Inview Tech Ltd of United Kingdom; (iii) and ascertain whether the Aggregators that were paid billions of Naira to supply over 20 million Set-Top Boxes are capable of meeting the deadline”.