The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) revokes licenses of 54 television and radio stations nationwide.
Disclosing this yesterday, the Commission’s Director-General, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, added that about 120 other stations may also soon be affected over what he described as their failure to come on air within the mandatory two years after the licences had been issued, as allowed by law.
Kawu also revealed that the accumulated debts of many of the stations to the Commission amounted to about N5 billion He issued an ultimatum of March 31 for all the debtors to pay up or may risk their licences being revoked. The director general, who made the disclosure at a briefing in Abuja, said the era of station owners using political connections to evade payment of licence fees was over.
He added that NBC would not allow the use of political connections to violate its Act with impunity.
He said: “Over the past two weeks, I gave directive that the licences of 54 companies that were 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.” On Digital Switch Over (DSO), which was launched in December, last year, Kawu said 251,447 STBs were sold in Abuja, adding that 145, 357 boxes were activated, and that the call centre received a total of 325, 028 calls within the same period.
He said; “The next phase is our plan for the six states that we have chosen to switch on. As I address you today, Pinnacle Communications Limited has commenced the installation of the facilities for Kaduna. I was there to inspect the work being done at the weekend.
“Our colleagues can go to the site on Rabah Road, Kaduna, to verify that work is advancing very rapidly there. They have also concluded plans for Delta and Gombe states, while the second signal distributor, ITS, will similarly mobilize into Kwara, Enugu and Osun states.”