…says revocation of 52 broadcast lincences ill-timed, reckness

By Gloria Ogbu


The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Chris Isiguzo, has urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to give broadcast stations time to pay up 2.6 billion debt.

Isiguzo called on NBC to exercise more restraint on the issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation.

He also said NBC’s decision to revoke the licences of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the commission as ill-advised, ill-timed and reckless.

The affected stations, according to an NBC press release on Friday, include AIT, Raypower, Kaduna, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Yobe, among other state and privately-owned broadcast organisations. They are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billon since 2015.

A swift reaction by the NUJ President in a statement personally signed by him, said although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, claimed that the development had no political motives, “yet we insist that the action was ill timed and reckless.

“It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences at this critical time of insecurity in the Country appears to be a decision taken without careful prior deliberation, consultation or counsel.”

“While we regret the inability of these broadcast stations to fulfill their obligations to NBC, in-view of dwindling resources, we caution against such large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence,” Isiguzo said.

According to him, the union cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such media blackout at this time.