The 54 broadcast stations across the country are facing license revocation owing to non- compliance to payment of license fees within a 60-day ultimatum.
From Hajia Maimuna Jimada National Broadcasting Commission-NBC spokesperson to Daily Trust, “some licensees are making payments ahead of the deadline. The deadline is March 31; many private and government owned broadcast outfits owe N5bn as license renewal fees”.
However, more than 50 broadcasting stations will know their fate by Friday when the deadline by the NBC for license renewal fee payment elapses. Meanwhile, representatives of broadcast television and radio stations have trailed the paths to NBC headquarters the week before, to either ascertain the status of their broadcasting licenses or pay their bills. Hence, Daily Trust reports thus, “some licensees are making payments ahead of the given period”.
The Commission further posits that defaulting stations would be closed down by April 1 if they do not make their payments by March 31. It continued,
“frequencies cannot be held indefinitely by individuals. We are delighted that Nigerians are investing in setting up radio and television stations; they create jobs-open up accesses for content producers to showcase talents, and contribute to national development. But no one has a right to hold on to frequencies indefinitely when the resource itself is definite and there are other people waiting and ready to make use of those frequencies”. This, the Director General of NBC Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu stated, referring to an Act of the Commission that allows it to revoke any broadcast license that is not put to use two years after it is issued. He disclosed this to press men in Abuja during a press conference, he added, “some of the licensees got licenses and failed to pay within the 60-days stipulated window, while another 120 licensees who had paid for and got their licenses would soon have their own taken back for failing to go on air in the last two years”.
He goes on to opine that the ravaging national economic injury across the nation is not unknown to NBC “but that cannot be justification for not meeting lawful obligations. Some of the license fees were due even before the economy got into recession; it means that they had refused to do the right thing even in a period of economic normalcy”. As reported by Daily Trust, “a Former Petroleum Minister, a Powerful Politician in the South-West and a Publisher of an Abuja based newspaper were among those who lost their licenses. Most of the licenses revoked were the ones hurriedly issued to cronies of the immediate past government”.
Some individuals who are beneficiaries of the 72 licenses granted by the former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan before the exhaustion of his tenure were identified to be his political associates and friends. Inclusive are “the key members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Chief Bode George, Ibadan born industrialist and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization-Otunba Funso Lawal, an oil ‘potentado’ and friend to the former President-Emeka Offor, National Chairman of the PDP-Chief Barnabas Gemade, National Coordinator of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) Patrick Ubah, Olajumoke Akinjide and Labaran Maku-Ministers“, Daily Trust.
Against the procedure for obtaining licenses as stipulated by the National Broadcasting Commission Act No. 38 of 1992(as amended), “politicians had used companies not registered, to run as broadcast companies to acquire the licenses”, this was given by Daily Trust as revealed by Mallam Kawu.
DG Kawu divulged during the Commission’s stake holders’ conference with broadcast organizations that license fees are in arrears and there is no plan by many of the stations to pay, “while some even had the temerity to write NBC saying the amount they were obliged to pay is too much and consequently telling us how much they were willing to pay and even adding the time they were going to pay such amount”. This he said is happening after he had informed stations of a dominant pattern of refusal to pay license fees and stating how much stations across the nation owe the Commission. He continued, “in truth, a pattern of gross indiscipline and misbehavior has been central to the relationship which many of the licenses had established in the past with the NBC”. In the light of this, “stations will be required to turn in their Annual Reports for NBC to carry out the Obligatory Assessment of what constitutes a percentage of the annual turnover which they are also obliged to pay the Commission”. Given that a station did not give a prior alert to the Commission Six Months before the expiration of their licenses, which is suggestive of such station’s interest to continue as a broadcasting station, the categorical stations have automatically failed to notify their intent to carry on as licensees or not. The Commission warns against illegal and constant use of transmission power stations. It is disheartening that “our licensees continue as if they have their licenses for keeps and the Commission cannot withdraw licenses. It is important to remind us all that all licenses are provisional no matter how long you’ve held them” disclosed the DG.
Mallam Kawu declared that the consequence of procuring transmitters by radio stations without respecting the stipulated and recommended transmitter power in city-based FM stations is that we have frequency clashes across the country. He further warned stations that are yet to mount aviation warning lights on their masts to do so while March runs through the 31st day. In dissonance with acquaintance to city-based FM transmitter power, NBC has been able to compile 69 stations all over Nigeria that installed transmitters beyond the transmitted power stipulated in their licenses.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) Mr. John Momoh enjoined NBC to put a halt to numerous issuance of broadcast licenses drawing from the obvious that broadcast market is almost over populated. He said, “radio and TV stations are increasingly finding it difficult to pay staff salaries and maintain their stations because of rising operating costs”. He therefore pleaded for more time to be given broadcast stations to pay their bills because they are facing turbulent times.
Below enlists the defaulting broadcast stations that have lost their licenses according to NBC:
1. Rui FM Ltd. Benin
2. New Ideas Communications Ltd. Abakaliki
3. Simonis Ventures Ltd. Enugu
5. Kevin Ejoifor Associates Ltd. Enugu
6. Ryan Robinson Ltd. Aba
7. Hero’s Security Services Ltd. Lagos/Port Harcourt
8. BOB TV Ltd. Enugu
9. Crown Integrated Pull Ltd. Ondo
10. Salama Radio Media Ltd. kafanchan
11. Wright & Daniels Ltd. Owerri
12. Omicof Dynamic Concept Ltd. Benin
13. Yuma Consult & Associates Ltd. Abeokuta
14. Heritage Broadcasting Ltd. Yenagoa/Ibadan/Warri/Enugu/Uyo/ Calabar/Kaduna/Owerri/Makurdi/Kano/Ekiti/Yola/Abuja/Port Harcourt.
15. Cosmo-Built Big. Ltd. Owerri
16.Afrimedia Global Partners Ltd. Kaduna
17. Doja Radio, Jalingo
18. Multimesh Communications Ltd. Calabar/Lafia/Yola/Ibadan/Ondo/Jos/Makurdi
19. Eil Ephesians Investments Ltd. Lokoja
20. Arc Broadcasting Services Ltd. Ngwo/Enugu
21. Echorok Nig. Ltd. Ibadan
22. El-Shamah Ventures Ltd. Osogbo
23. Rhembel Holdings Ltd. Akure
24. E-Tech Dev. System, Keffi
25. Integrated Signalling and Telecoms Ltd. Owerri
26. Riverdale MultiMedia Ltd. Ijebu Ode/Okene
27. Corporateman International Ltd. Epe
28. Okisi Integrated Ltd. Owerri
29. Rosenbek Nig. Ltd. Port Harcourt
30. Impactplus Comm. Ltd. Abeokuta
31. Vista Inter. Nigeria Ltd. Osogbo
32. Cardinal Media Ltd. Warri
33. Stella Constellation Group Ltd. Kano/Enugu
34. Global Falcons Nig. Ltd. Ibadan
35. DBL Prime Media Nig. Ltd. Abeokuta/Ibadan/Calabar
36. Oscar Mamman Benjy Nig. Ltd. Kano/Katsina/Sokoto
37. AMX Logistics Ltd. Otukpo
38. Xeus Nigeria Ltd. Calabar
39. MPS Global Services Ltd. Abeokuta
40. GOA Broadcasting Links Services Ltd. Omu Aran
41. Mustasons Broadcasting and Communications Ltd. Minna
42. Chocolate Media Ltd. Jos
43. D.O.M Communications Ltd. Yenagoa
44. Aman Media and Comm. Ltd. Asaba
45. Greenhouse International Ventures Ltd. Abuja/Lokoja
46. Sahel Merchants Nig. Ltd. Daura
47. Dazzling Communications Ltd. Yenagoa/Onitsha
48. l’Moving Ltd. Abeokuta
49. Flamingo Press Ltd. Abeokuta
50. Arabo Telecom Nigeria Ltd. Kano
51. World View Broadcasting Service Ltd. Owerri
52. Moore Entertainment and Production Ltd. Benin
53. Bliss Broadcasting Ltd.Kaduna
54. New Age Communications Ltd. Kadu/Plateau.