Debtor broadcasting stations to face sanctions

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says it will shut down radio and television stations owing licensing fees.

The Director General, Is’haq Modibbo said any broadcasting station that failed to come up with a payment plan before September 15 would be closed.

Modibbo said this at a news briefing in Lagos on Monday, after a meeting with the stakeholders in the industry.

He said that the broadcasting stations were owing the commission N4.3 billion.

According to him, ”there was an agreement between the stakeholders and the NBC in February 2017 on how to recover the debts.”

He said the stations had reneged on the agreement.

Consultative meeting
Modibbo said that it would not be ideal to mention the broadcasting stations due to the relationship between the parties.

”There will be a consultative meeting between Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the NBC.

”Stations must try to regularise or work on a payment plan. The truth of the matter is if there is nothing definite done by trying to pay the money owed NBC we are going to close down quite a number of radio and television stations.

”Especially because we know that a lot of them are targeting elections and the money they will make…We will make it impossible for them to make that money because if they do not pay their licensing fees, then they have no right to enjoy any freebies from elections,” he explained.

The Director General also spoke on the issue of sanctions on various broadcasting stations saying broadcasting ethics states that the peace and unity of the country should be paramount.

Ethical boundaries
In a situation where the ethical boundaries have been breached at various times by a broadcasting station, he said such a station would be sanctioned or shut down as the case may be.

Modibbo said that the commission does not ban songs, but  certain songs cannot be broadcast due to their content.

Songs that should be broadcast in Nigeria are songs that families could listen to, he said.

“Young people are the greatest export of our country in terms of their artistic work and our country is a country of young people,” he said.

Modibbo added that young artists influence Nigerian children and as such, should be mindful of the songs they air.

Lateefah Ibrahim