BY OLUTAYO AMOO
The Nigeria Communication Regulatory body, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the broadcast licenses of African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird TV, and 50 broadcast stations across the country over-indebtedness.
Also affected is AIT’s sister radio station, Raypower FM, and 49 other stations across the country.
The director-general of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, who made the announcement while briefing journalists in Abuja on Friday, said there was no political undertone in revoking the license of the debtor-broadcast stations.
Ilelah urged the stations to pay the N2.6 billion they are owing the Commission since 2015, he said they have 24 hours to avert total disconnection, including withdrawing frequencies and reassigning the withdrawn frequencies to others who are ready to abide by the necessary requirements.
The DG said NBC published the list of licensees who were owing in May 2022, in the national dailies and granted them two weeks to renew their licenses and pay their debts or consider their licenses revoked.
Ilelah said three months after the publication, some licensees were yet to pay 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.
In view of this development, he said the continued operation of the debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security.
“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the under-listed stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations. Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance,” the NBC DG stated.