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NBC asked to reverse revocation of 52 TV, radio licenses

NBC asked to reverse revocation of 52 TV, radio licenses

NBC asked to reverse revocation of 52 TV, radio licenses

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to reverse its revocation of the broadcast licenses of 52 broadcast stations in Nigeria.

Our Nigeria News reports that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) took the action on Friday following the publication of a list of stations yet to renew their licenses.

The NBC, it was gathered, said a two-week waiver was given to the stations in May to do so after which they risked the revocation of their licences.

Some of the affected stations include Silverbird TV, Rhythm FM, AIT/RayPower FM, and MITV.

According to the broadcasting regulatory body, three months after the publication, some stations are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the 2004 National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11.

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“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licences of the stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations’, the NBC said in a statement.

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

However, in its reaction to this development, the MRA said the NBC was prioritizing its desire to make money off the broadcasters over the interest of citizens.

It urged the NBC to reverse its decision in the public interest to avoid creating a society of predominantly ignorant citizens, advising that the need to ensure that Nigerians are adequately informed through the media should supersede any other consideration by the NBC.

“We are shocked by this naked display by the NBC of a lack of appreciation of its principal role which is to contribute to the emergence of a knowledge society’, the MRA said in a statement on Friday. ‘Rather, it has chosen to create an environment in which millions of Nigerians will wallow in ignorance, deprived of access to crucial information that they need to make critical decisions in their lives or to enhance their livelihoods”.

The nonprofit, in the statement issued by its Head of Legal Department, Obioma Okonkwo, noted that the broadcasting stations are also negatively impacted by the inability of the government to create a conducive environment for them to operate.

“The fact that so many broadcasting stations have been unable to pay the license fees raises serious questions about the fairness and appropriateness of the fees being imposed on broadcasters by the NBC in such a challenging economic environment’, the statement added.

“As the NBC, which imposes the fees and collects them for its own use, there needs to be an independent inquiry into this apparent conflict of interest where the motivation of the commission is apparently to make as much money for itself as possible”.

The MRA argued that the action of the NBC has only worsened the prevailing lopsidedness in the broadcasting landscape in Nigeria.

NBC asked to reverse revocation of 52 TV, radio licenses

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