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Multichoice denies revocation of GOtv licence by FG

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Multichoice Nigeria has denied claims that the federal government cancelled its licence for operating GOtv in the country. There had been reports that government had stopped the operations of GOtv following some alleged irregularities.

But responding to The Guardian inquiry on the matter, Public Relations Manager, Multichoice Nigeria, Caroline Oghuma, said: “We are aware of some media reports alleging that GOtv’s licence was cancelled. We reassure our customers that GOtv’s licence has been renewed, and we remain committed to offering the best indigenous and international entertainment to our esteemed customers.”

However, the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ekanem Antia, told The Guardian on telephone that he would get back on the position of the commission “on the status of things”.Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, had told journalists in Abuja last month that the commission had in January 2018 issued a notice that the GOtv licence was not going to be renewed at expiration in a couple of days.

“But the commission held a meeting under the auspices of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, during which they resolved that GOtv would have its licence renewed for a period of three years, but with certain provisos,” Kawu added.

The revocation report was linked to a N2.5 billion scandal involving the NBC, which the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) had investigated. In the scandal, Kawu and his backers in the presidency were pitted against the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.It was learned that the relationship between the minister and the DG soured considerably when the ICPC investigated the scandal.

According to the report, the ICPC swung into action on March 8, 2019 and attempted to arraign Kawu, but he was absent in court. His lawyers said he was on admission at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, for an undisclosed ailment.The report added that the minister struck again, weeks after ICPC’s attempt to arraign the DG, nullifying the three-year licence NBC had granted MultiChoice.

“The decision to renew the GOtv licence for three years negates the position of the white paper on the DSO (Digital Switch Over), making it not only illegal but a wilful disrespect for our laws and national institutions,” the minister said in a letter dated March 29, 2019, according to the report.


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