Entertainment - News - August 19, 2022

N2.6bn debt: NBC gives AIT, Silverbird TV, 50 others 24 hours notice to pay, or have licenses revoked

MEDIATRACNET

The African Independent Television (AIT) and its affiliate radio station, Raypower FM, and 50 other broadcast stations across the country, risk losing their operational licenses if they fail to pay up their debts valued at N2.6billion, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has said.

The broadcasting industry regulator said the operational licenses of the 52 broadcast stations across the country would be revoked after the deadline over the debt which has remained unsettled since 2015.

The director-general of the NBC, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, who announced this in Abuja on Friday, denied any political undertones in the license revocation notice to the debtor-broadcast stations.

Ilelah appealed to the affected stations to endeavour to settle their debts before the expiration of 24 hours to avert the revocation of their operational licenses and total disconnection.

In May 2022, the DG said the NBC published in the national dailies the list of licensees indebted to the Commission, and granted them two weeks to renew their licenses by paying their outstanding debts or risk getting their licenses revoked.

He said stations were warned that withdrawn frequencies would be reassigned to others ready to comply with established regulations by the law.

More than three months after the publication, Ilelah said some licensees were yet to clear their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly Section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

With this development, the NBC DG said the regulatory authority has no option that declare the continued operation of the debtor-stations illegal and a threat to national security.

He said the the NBC was giving the affected stations 24 hours to shut down their operations, or risk the revocation of their licenses.

“Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance,” the NBC DG stated.

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