IPI Nigeria President, Musikilu Mojeed
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On IPI Nigeria’s intervention, NBC suspends shutdown of 53 TV, radio stations 

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Following the intervention of the International Press Institute (IPI), Nigerian chapter, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has temporarily “backed down” on the revocation of the operating licences of 52 broadcast stations for failing to renew their licences.

The NBC has now given the affected stations up to 6.00pm on Tuesday, August 23, to pay up their debts running into N2.6 billion.

Persecondnews had reported that NBC had on Friday given the stations including state-owned media across the country 24 hours to shut down their operations following the revocation of their licences, citing Section 10(a) of the 3rd Schedule of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The provision says, “10. A licence may be revoked by the Commission in the following cases, that is (a) where the prescribed fee has not been paid on the due date…”

The statement states: “The NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the under-listed stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

“Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.”

NBC gave the affected stations as Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd), Greetings FM (Greetings Media Ltd), Tao FM (Ovidi Communications Ltd), Zuma FM (Zuma FM Ltd), Crowther FM (Crowther Communications Ltd), WE FM (Kings Broadcasting Ltd), Linksman International ltd, Bomay Broadcasting Services Itd, MITV (Murhi International Group Ltd), Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd), Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd), Classic TV (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd), Beat FM (Megalectrics LTD), Cooper Communications Itd, Splash FM (West Midlands Ltd), Rock City FM (Boot Communications Itd), Family FM (Kalaks Investments Nig. Ltd), Space FM (Creazioni Nig. Ltd), Radio Jeremi (Radio Jeremi ltd), and Wave FM (South Atlantic Media Ltd).

Others are Kogi State Broadcasting Corporation, Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation, Niger State Broadcasting Corporation, Breeze FM (Bays Water Ltd),Vibes FM (Vibes Communication Ltd) and Family Love FM (Multimesh Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

Also listed are Gombe State Broadcasting Corporation, Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, Ondo State Broadcasting Corporation, Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation, Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation, Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation, Imo State Broadcasting Corporation, Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation, and Borno State Broadcasting Corporation.

Yobe State Broadcasting Corporation, Sokoto State Broadcasting Corporation, Zamfara State Broadcasting Corporation, Kebbi State Broadcasting Corporation, Jigawa State Broadcasting Corporation, Kaduna State Broadcasting Corporation, and Katsina State Broadcasting Corporation are also not spared the NBC’s big stick.

Following the announcement, IPI Nigeria engaged the Ministry of Information and Culture, the NBC and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON)  to explore amicable resolution of the dispute.

“We are glad to report that the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilela,  has graciously agreed to grant an extension on compassionate ground,” IPI Nigeria President, Musikilu Mojeed, said on Saturday.

“Even though this is a temporary relief, we are hopeful that all parties will engage in the next few days with a view to arriving at a lasting resolution of the matter. We thank the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mallam Illela for listening to us and allowing a window for dialogue.

“During our engagement with the Commission, the NBC explained that the commission had in the past granted several concessions to broadcast  organisations, including writing off substantial parts of their debts and engaging them consistently to fulfill their financial obligations to the regulator.

“We implore the affected broadcasting organisations to take advantage of this window of opportunity by reaching out to the NBC.

“Nobody benefits when broadcasting stations are shut down. Members of the public have come to rely on these stations to know what their governments are doing to keep them safe in this challenging security environment. Other governments’ policies are also disseminated to the public through these channels.

“In view of the nation’s economic downturn, we further appeal to the affected broadcast stations and the NBC to agree a workable payment arrangement of the outstanding dues,”Mojeed said.

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