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Broadcast stations in Nigeria are in debt, Govt threatens to withdraw their licenses

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has told media practitioners not to be a mouthpiece for any interest group or groups in the country.

The Director-General of the NBC, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, said this during a media parley on Thursday in Abuja.

He said many television and radio stations across the country, especially government-owned, were owing to the commission over N4bn in-licensing and license renewal fees.

He said for stations owing license renewal fees, the NBC was putting them on notice that “they have until February 17, 2022 to pay their debts or have their licences withdrawn and reallocated to prospective licensees.”

Ilelah said media practitioners should critically report the words and actions of both sides, subjecting them to critical analysis and exposing what is false or threatening to society and its freedoms.

He said: “The practitioner should never be a mere mouthpiece for any interest group or groups. He or she should critically report the words and actions of both sides, subjecting them to critical analysis and exposing what is false or threatening to society and its freedoms.

 “We know the harm fake news, hate speech and unprofessional broadcast has cost societies. We must be extremely cautious of the contents we put out there. The National Broadcasting Commission prides itself on professionalism, efficiency and integrity in fulfilling its mandate as a regulator,” Ilelah said.

He noted the provisional broadcast license granted to 159 companies, institutions and communities by President Muhammadu Buhari to operate radio and television in the country.

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