By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—AT last, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, will today release the list of all the broadcast stations owing it N5 billion licence fees.
Addressing broadcast stakeholders in Abuja, Director-General of the commission, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, decried the situation where many stations have refused to pay their licence fees.
according to him, the statutory act of informing the NBC, six months before the expiration of licence and signifying intention to continue as a licensee, is ignored.
Vanguard gathered that the decision was in conformity with the commission’s earlier announcement that it would clamp down on all erring broadcast stations flouting the rules.
The commission had last month gave indication that before the end of this month, it would weld the big stick on operators who have refused to pay up their license fees to date.
“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. And for emphasis, I want to let you know that stations owe over N5Billion as license fees.
“I will like to use this medium to inform you, that the NBC would be invoking the relevant laws against erring stations. Consequently, ALL stations without exception, are expected to complete all payments owed to the Commission by the 15th of March, 2017,” he said.
He also lamented that the Commission is equally disturbed by the illegal and rampant use of transmission power by stations all over Nigeria, saying that some stations procure transmitters without respecting the stipulated and recommended transmitter power in city-based FM stations.
“The consequence of this is that we have frequency clashes occurring all over Nigeria. As of yesterday, we have compiled a total of 69 stations around Nigeria, that have installed transmitters beyond the transmitter power stipulated in their licenses, and that is not even exhaustive.
“A top Nigerian politician, who was given a license, installed a 10KW transmitter; began transmission even before NBC gave him the permission, and when NBC Engineers went to inspect his facilities, he sent his thugs to chase away our workers!
“Let me make some points clear here: Henceforth no broadcaster would be allowed to import a transmitter beyond the power allotted in the licenses issued. Secondly, stations must ensure that their broadcasts are limited to assigned areas only; and where these areas require less than 2KW power, they must tune their transmitters below 2KW.
“On a final note, All stations that have installed more than allotted TX power are hereby put on notice, that they have six months to procure and install 2KW transmitters. After the expiration of this grace period, we will ensure the de-commissioning of the transmitters installed beyond the allotted TX power!
“Other related technical issues include the refusal of some stations to install aviation warning lights on their masts. Each one of us here realizes that we endanger our collective safety with this terribly unprofessional attitude,” he explained.
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