THE National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has suspended the shutdown of indebted broadcast stations across the country.
The NBC had on August 19 announced the revocation of the licences of African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird Television and 50 other broadcast stations over their failure to pay licence renewal fees.
In a statement released on Friday, NBC Director General Balarabe Shehu said the Commission has decided to suspend the shutdown of the broadcast stations.
Shehu explained that the suspension was temporary.
He also attributed the suspension to a follow-up meeting the NBC held with executives of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and other critical stakeholders in the industry.
The NBC DG expressed appreciation to the BON, the affected licensees and broadcast industry stakeholders for their responses and interventions.
Parts of the statement read, “The National Broadcasting Commission, on Friday, August 19th, 2022, issued a shutdown notice to licenses that are indebted to the Commission.
“Following the ultimatum, the Commission received positive responses from the debtor Licensees, including big players in the broadcast industry.
“Sequel to a follow-up meeting held with Executives of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), and other critical Stakeholders in the industry, the Commission has decided to temporarily suspend the shutdown of the indebted Broadcast stations all over the Country.
“We express our profound appreciation to the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, the affected licensees and Broadcast Stakeholders for their responses and interventions. We, specifically, thank DAAR Communications Ltd and Silverbird TV/Rhythm FM for their responses.”
The Commission, however, noted that it was not unaware of the difficulties the shutdown must have caused the operators and other stakeholders and stated that it will always operate within the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Cap. N11, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
“The Commission is not unaware of the difficulties this shutdown must have caused the operators and other stakeholders but must state that the Commission will always operate within the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Cap. N11, Laws of the Federation, 2004.”
The ICIR reported that NBC decided to shutdown the broadcast stations due to the failure of the media organisations to renew their licenses, thereby accruing debts amounting to a total of N2.66 billion.
However, the Commission’s action had attracted condemnations from both media practitioners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the country.