The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Saturday said it has granted AIT, Silverbird, Rhythm FM and 50 other broadcasters a three-day grace period to complete the renewal of their licences.
Director-General of NBC Balarabe Ilelah announced this in a statement 24 hours after announcing the revocation of the broadcast stations’ licences.
The suspension follows the intervention of the Nigerian chapter of the International Press Institute (IPI).
The NBC gave the stations until 6pm on Tuesday, August 23, to pay up their debts and avoid their licences being revoked.
The statement reads: “This is to inform all the affected broadcast stations whose licenses were revoked and given 24 hours to pay all the outstanding license fees, that the National Broadcasting Commission, has extended the period in which all the outstanding debts are to be paid from 24 hours to Wednesday, August 23rd 2022.
“All affected stations who fail to defray their debts on or before August 23rd 2022 are to shut down by 12am on August 24th 2022.
“The extension is due to the appeal by the affected broadcast stations, relevant stakeholders, public-spirited individuals and organisations.”
IPI Nigeria President, Musikilu Mojeed, said he was delighted the NBC boss agreed to grant an extension on compassionate ground.
“Even though this is a temporary relief, we are hopeful that all parties will engage in the next few days with a view to arriving at a lasting resolution of the matter. We thank the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mallam Illela for listening to us and allowing a window for dialogue.
“During our engagement with the Commission, the NBC explained that the commission had in the past granted several concessions to broadcast organizations, including writing off substantial parts of their debts and engaging them consistently to fulfil their financial obligations to the regulator.
“We implore the affected broadcast organizations to take advantage of this window of opportunity by reaching out to NBC,” he said.