Foreign broadcast stations get 30 days to register
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has given 30 days to foreign broadcasters who have offices in Nigeria and beam their signals into the country to register of risk being disconnected.
The Commission also called on all the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and all other broadcast stations that are streaming online to register with the Commission to avoid disconnection and prosecution.
Director General of the NBC, Mallam Balarabe Ilelah, who gave the warning while handing over provisional licences to 67 newly approved licensees yesterday in Abuja, said broadcasters should note that, having a Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) or FM license does not warrant a broadcaster to stream online as they are two different licenses.
Ilelah stated that NBC is determined to collaborate with security agencies to clamp down on illegal broadcasters in the country and reminded licensees that are yet to pay their outstanding debts to hurriedly pay or have their licences revoked for illegal broadcasting.
He observed that refusal to pay license fee is an economic sabotage, saying that the Commission will have no option than to collaborate with security and anti-corruption agencies to redeem the debts.
The NBC boss noted that the approval of 67 additional licenses by President Muhammadu Buhari is a testimonial that the President yearns for media pluralism and freedom of expression.
He implored new licensees to complement the gesture by promoting the nation’s democratic values, national unity and cultural heritage. He said, “You are also required to reciprocate the gesture by putting the license into use within the timeframe provided and act responsibly and in accordance with the Act, Code and other extant laws guiding broadcasting in Nigeria. Pay attention to safeguarding the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria through your broadcast.
This is in addition to promoting and sustaining the Nigeria’s diverse culture by ensuring diversity in programming content for the Nigeria’s widest audience. Most importantly is to promote Nigerian content and encourage the production, hence try to achieve 100% local content.”
Ilelah pointed out that part of the requirements for the commencement of test transmission henceforth, is for new licensees to send their staff members for training at the newly established Nigeria Broadcast Institute.