The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has withdrawn the operating licence of 54 television and radio stations over nonpayment of their licensing fees.
The Director General of NBC Is’haq Modibbo Kawu made this known on Monday, March 13 in Abuja. He noted that most television and radio station operators have failed to pay up their licensing fees over the years because they always run to Aso Rock to seek help to evade payment. He said that era is over as the commission will henceforth not tolerate such political interference in carrying out its duties.
Another set of affected TV and radio stations are the stations that have been issued licenses but have failed to come on air within the mandatory two years of kickoff. On this group of investors he said:
“Over the past two weeks, I gave directive that the licenses of 54 companies issued licenses but had refused to pay their fees within the mandatory 60-day window be revoked. And those licenses are revoked. There is another list of over 120 licenses that were paid within the mandatory period but were unable to come on air, within the mandatory two years; they are also being processed for revocation. And they will be revoked. Frequencies cannot be held indefinitely by individuals. We are delighted that Nigerians are investing in setting up radio and television stations; they create jobs; open up accesses for content producers to showcase talents and are contributing to national development. But no one has a right to hold on to allocated frequencies indefinitely, when the resource itself is finite and there are other people waiting and ready to make use of those frequencies.”
Kawu has threatened to shut down radio and television stations owing the commission about N5 billion as license fees. He issued a March deadline for them to pay up or be shut down.