NBC set to sanction broadcast operators owing license fees from March
The Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu has given a clear indication that before the end of next month, the agency will weld the big stick on operators who have refused to pay up their license fees to date.
Addressing broadcast stakeholder in Abuja yesterday, he decried that “the situation whereby many stations have refused to pay their license fees; even the statutory act of informing the NBC, six months before the expiration of license and signifying intention to continue as a licensee is ignored”.
“Our licensees carry on, as if they have their licenses for keeps and the NBC cannot withdraw licenses. It is important to remind us all that ALL licenses are provisional, no matter how long you have held them. And for emphasis, I want to let you know that stations owe over N5Billion as license fees.
He said “I will like to use this medium to inform you, that the NBC would be invoking the relevant laws against erring stations. Consequently, ALL stations without exception, are expected to complete all payments owed to the Commission by the 15th of March, 2017”.
Continuing, Kawu observed that “The Commission is equally disturbed by the illegal and rampant use of transmission power by stations all over Nigeria”.
“Stations procure transmitters without respecting the stipulated and recommended transmitter power in city-based FM stations. The consequence of this is that we have frequency clashes occurring all over Nigeria.
“As of yesterday, we have compiled a total of 69 stations around Nigeria, that have installed transmitters beyond the transmitter power stipulated in their licenses, and that is not even exhaustive.
“A top Nigerian politician, who was given a license, installed a 10KW transmitter; began transmission even before NBC gave him the permission, and when NBC Engineers went to inspect his facilities, he sent his thugs to chase away our workers!
“Let me make some points clear here: Henceforth no broadcaster would be allowed to import a transmitter beyond the power allotted in the licenses issued. Secondly, stations must ensure that their broadcasts are limited to assigned areas only; and where these areas require less than 2KW power, they must tune their transmitters below 2KW. On a final note, ALL stations that have installed MORE than allotted TX power are hereby put on notice, that they have six months to procure and install 2KW transmitters. After the expiration of this grace period, we will ensure the de-commissioning of the transmitters installed beyond the allotted TX power!
“Other related technical issues include the refusal of some stations to install aviation warning lights on their masts. Each one of us here realizes that we endanger our collective safety with this terribly unprofessional attitude.
“All stations are hereby given till February 28th, 2017, to ensure that proper aviation warning lights are installed on their masts. We have also seen that there are stations that have refused to install off-air recording facilities. We all know that this is also an imperative. NBC Monitoring Officers around Nigeria will check every station to ensure compliance. These must be in place latest by March 31st, 2017; thereafter, all stations that have not installed these recording facilities would be closed down!
Kawu however, warned broadcasters on the dangers of Hate Speech which he observed as becoming rampant, saying “Broadcasting must promote pluralism and decency, as well as help to deepen the content of Nigeria’s democracy. We must not divide Nigeria!”