Radio Stations Owe Federal Government N5bn License Fees- NBC
By Ogbolu George
The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC), Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, has said the Federal Government is being owed N5billion license renewal fees by radio stations across the country.
Kawu, who disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Broadcasting Stakeholders’ Meeting, also said all the stations were expected to complete all payments owed to the Commission by the 15th of March, 2017.
NBC DG said some station have failed to give six months notice prior information to the commission before their licenses expired, adding that they also failed to signify their intention to continue or not.
”Our licensees carry on, as if they have their licenses for keeps and the NBC cannot withdraw licenses. It is important to remind us all that all licenses are provisional, no matter how long you have held them”, he said.
Kawu said frequency clashes occur all over Nigeria because radio stations procure transmitters without respecting the stipulated and recommended transmitter power in city-based FM stations.
He said NBC has compiled a list of 69 stations around Nigeria, that have installed transmitters beyond the transmitter power stipulated in their licenses.
He said a Nigerian Politician chased away NBC Engineers when they went to inspect his facilities, because he was transmitting before NBC gave him permission to.
“We have also seen that there are stations that have refused to install off-air Recording facilities. We all know that this is also an imperative. NBC Monitoring Officers around Nigeria will check every station to ensure compliance. These must be in place latest by March 31st, 2017; thereafter, all stations that have not installed these recording facilities would be closed down,” he added.
However, John Momoh, the chairman of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), pleaded for more time for the members to renew their licenses because broadcast stations are even finding it very difficult to pay salaries of staff and maintain their stations because of rising operating costs.