Pay Your Dues Or Risk Revocation-NBC To Defaulting Stations
By Eunice Stephen
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has given all stations owing their license renewal and remit dues till 9th September 2023 to pay up or risk revocation.
The broadcasting regulatory agency says its efficiency is grossly hindered by license renewal debtors and defaulters of 2.5 per cent annual income remit.
Addressing broadcasting practitioners and media owners at stakeholders meeting in Kano, NBC Director General Mal. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah expressed worry over the poor compliance of stations that have failed to remit their statutory dues to the commission.
Concerning the litigation by civil society organizations challenging the powers of NBC to fine broadcasting stations violating its code, the head of the legal unit at the commission, Barrister Asukwo Unuyu said three court judgments were secured in favor of NBC.
Unuyu, however, described the ruling of Justice James Omotosho of the FCT division of the Federal high court, which relegated NBC powers to fine broadcasting stations, as a default judgment.
Mal. Ilelah, who stressed the high volume of broadcasting stations across public and private entities yet to meet their mandate, stressed its readiness to impose stiffer penalties against the defaulters.
The NBC boss also emphasized that henceforth, indebted stations that failed to meet the ultimatum would be considered illegal operators and saboteurs of the national economy.
Besides the clamour for renewal of licenses, Mal. Ilelah pointed out that provisional licenses not paid for after two years of issuance would be considered lapsed. He added that stations granted provisional approval without fulfilling their financial obligations after 60 days shall lose the privilege.
“None payment of license fees means that the broadcast station is not permitted by law to be on air. For over 20 years, the commission has not reviewed its license fees, yet the licensees have reneged on their financial obligations to the Commission,” Ilelah said.
“This has greatly affected the operations of the commission, considering the fact that the commission does not receive any budgetary allocation from the government.” He added.
Reacting to NBC’s position, media managers appealed to NBC to reconsider its ultimatum which they considered unrealistic. They also sought the permission of the regulator to service their debt through a payment structure.
Reacting to NBC’s position, media managers appealed to NBC to reconsider its ultimatum which they considered unrealistic. They also sought the permission of the regulator to service their debt through payment structure.
One of the speakers, Managing Director, Freedom Radio, Kano, Alh. Abbas Muhammad Dalhatu insisted stations are barely surviving on zero monthly revenue amidst compelling costs.
Another speaker, Mr Yusuf Isa equally urged NBC to consider seeking Federal government budgetary allocation to reduce pressure on licensees whose sources of revenue already dwindled by the reality of the economy.