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BON faults NBC, insists digital access fee illegal

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Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)

The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has insisted that the Federal Government’s collection of Digital Access fees remains illegal.

It also called for a complete review of the national digitalisation process being anchored by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to make way for a proper legal framework.

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Chairman of BON, Hajiya Sa’a Ibrahim, disclosed this, yesterday, during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by NBC.

Ibrahim, who doubles as Managing Director of Kano State-owned Abubakar Rimi Television (ARtv), urged NBC to suspend the collection of the Access Fee. She called for the migration process to be completed before the commencement of the charge. She lamented that several areas of concern are yet to be addressed.

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She also urged the government to ban the importation of analogue TV sets into the country while the cost of set-top boxes should be made affordable. She noted that there are no tangible guidelines regarding the process, as the only available document remains the white paper issued by the government since 2012. This, she said, does not capture contemporary technological development and is deficient in addressing decade-long issues that have since emerged.

She explained that many outlets are currently facing an acute drop in revenue generation while struggling to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the relationship between BON and NBC should rest on mutual benefit rather than sanctions and commands.

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