Broadcast Rights

Nigeria: President Buhari Authorises 213 New Broadcast Licences

President Muhammadu Buhari has authorised the issuing of operating licences to 213 new private and public broadcasting hubs in the country.
Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) announced this recently at the 71st General Assembly of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

Modibbo-Kawu said that the president had approved 23 DTT Television licences, 147 new FM radio licences, three national radio network licences and two national television licences. He said that there had also been presidential approval for 24 community broadcasters, 16 campus radio stations, and three public organisations FM licences.

The Director-General expressed that 213 licences were the most significant number of stations ever licensed at one time in Nigerian broadcasting history. He reiterated that BON’s role as the mothership body for all broadcasting organisations in the country was essential.

The NBC boss mentioned that he was concerned over the increase of hate speech, that was broadcast on many television networks. He said that as the country moved closer to the 2019 general elections, NBC would not hesitate to sanction stations that broadcast hate speech. Modibbo-Kawu noted that even though the NBC were not responsible for statements made by politicians, the broadcasting firms in BON would be liable for violations of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code by the politicians that they broadcast live during political rallies.

On the Digital Switch Over (DSO), he said that work on the digital mapping of the country had been completed. He also added that a new Verimatrix Conditional Access System had been approved alongside an alternative platform, to promote a competitive DSO process for Nigeria.

Modibbo-Kawu said that the payment the NBC had made to one of its main signal distributors, Pinnacle Communications was justifiable.
It had been reported that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) had alleged an infringement of the law in the payment running to almost $7 million.
Modibbo-Kawu, however, said that Pinnacle Communications had used that funding to install the best transmission systems in the world for the DSO, in Abuja and Kaduna.
The DG reminded all BON members to pay their licensing fees to the NBC. He said many broadcasting organisations were failing to make payments that were due.
He warned the organisations that further non-payment would result in the shutting down of their businesses.

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