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Non-release of funds frustrating NBC projects, Board chairman tells Reps

The Chairman, Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, has opened up on why activities of the Commission had been in comatose for some years now.

In his remarks in his remarks, during a strategic meeting in Ibadan with Members of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, he sought the support of the Committee in the release of funds for projects lined up by the Commission.

He reminded members of the Committee that the NBC Amendment Bill 2018, was still with the National Assembly, and pleaded with the Committee to help facilitate the passage of the bill for the progress of the Commission.

Business Hilights gathered that the meeting scheduled was to brief members of the Committee on the mandate of the Commission as well as conception, Implementation, Benefits and Challenges of the Digital Switchover (DSO) in Nigeria, including other past and present endeavours of the Commission with a view to put all hands-on deck for the progress of the broadcasting Industry in Nigeria.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director General of the Commission, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, welcomed the respected Committee to Ibadan and noted that there were many reasons why the Commission need to engage with the Committee.

“You have oversight responsibility over what we do. But how can you effectively do that, if you do not have a sufficient understanding of the complications that underline our work?”

He noted that the interest for Broadcasting in Nigeria is growing every day, and the duty of the Commission includes processing the applications for these, monitoring and regulating same, as well a generally ensuring that “broadcasting shall influence society positively, setting the agenda for social, cultural, economic, political and technological development of the nation, for the public good.

Mallam Kawu pointed out that the Commission ‘police’ the Nigerian broadcasting environment on a 24-hour basis, to ensure that the Nigerian broadcasters, keeps to the letters of the law, and on a quarterly basis, release a compendium of stations that have been “warned, fined or sanctioned, one way or the other during that period”.

There was presentation by the Chairman, Digiteam Nigeria, on “DSO: The Journey so far”, and further presentations by Directorates in the Commission. These were followed by interactive sessions.

Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun, pointed out that as a Committee with over-sighting role on the NBC, it is imperative for the Commission to take advantage of the current harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature to ensure that they are adequately carried along on the broader scope of the functions and activities of the Commission.