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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

NUJ Frowns at NBC Over Sanction of 52 Broadcast Stations 

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna

The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, has expressed displeasure over the sanction of 52 broadcast stations by the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC.

The Union described the decision of the Commission to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness as ill-timed and reckless.

This was contained in a statement signed by the union’s president and made available to newsmen on Friday.

According to Isiguzo in the statement, “the decision today by Industry Regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the Commission was ill advised.”

Though, the affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of license fees amounting to N2.6 billion since 2015. Meanwhile, the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives.

However, the union further stressed that the revocation of licenses 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 consequences. We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a media blackout at this time.

“We call on NBC to exercise more restraint on this issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation,” the statement reads.

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