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NBC appears more of a media trader than regulator, says Akinfeleye

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A leading teacher of Mass Communication in Africa, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, has frown against high cost of getting operational licence for campus radio and television, among other challenges, making it difficult for several higher institutions to establish.

Akinfeleye, a member of World Journalism Council and Chairman of the Centre of Excellence in Multimedia and Cinematography/UNILAG Radio and Television, University of Lagos, contended that the worrisome trend was fast unwinding the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) into a “media trader” against its statutory role of “media regulator.”

The doyen of journalism, who spoke yesterday in Kano at the commissioning of Bayero University Campus radio station “BUK FM 98.9”, lamented what he considered over-regulation by NBC, besides the prolonged delay before granting licence approval, limited permission for advertising coupled with exorbitant cost of procurement of operational licence.

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“It took UNILAG 25 years to get a radio licence, but because of the success story of UNILAG radio, the licence to other universities and polytechnics did not take 25 years before getting their licences. Also, it took two years to be assigned frequency by the NCC, hence the delay to 2004 for UNILAG radio. Lack of proper relationship management between the regulator NBC and campus radio stations is another challenge.

“How can you charge huge cost of licensing at the rate of N1 million for campus radio and renewable every five years with same amount. Worse still, the cost for TV licensing, which stands at N15 million, is too high and the same regulator refused to grant permission for limitless commercial and adverting support for campus radio to run their operations. Again, the challenge of low coverage area remains another critical challenge, forgetting that some universities and polytechnics have more than one campus, the main campus and the second or third campus,” he said.

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NBCProf. Ralph Akinfeleye
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