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N2.6b debt: NBC revokes AIT/RayPower, Silverbird, others’ licences

We’re working on it, say Daar Communications, Silverbird Television

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the operating licenses of African Independent Television (AIT), its sister radio station, Raypower, Silverbird, and 59 other broadcasting stations across the country. The commission said that the 50 broadcasting stations are owing the Federal Government a total sum of N2.6 billion operating licenses for a period of over three years. NBC Director General Balarabe Shehu Ilelah at a press conference, regretted that three months after the publication of their names in the national dailies, the affected station were yet to offset their debt, which he said contravened the broadcasting Act.

IIelah said the stations have been operating illegally since they have failed to renew their licenses. According to him; “Three months after the publication, some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act. “Therefore, after due consideration, the NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the under-listed stations and gives them 24 hours to shutdown their operations.

“In view of this development, the continued operation of the debtor-stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security. “Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.” The DG, however, said the stations could still bail themselves out by offsetting their debts in the next 24 hours and get yanked off from the list to be shut down. Reacting to the directive, both the management of Daar Communications Plc and Silverbird Television in separate reactions said that their management were on top of the situation and would soon make public their position on the matter. The Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Daar Communication PLC, Johnson Onime, in an interview with Saturday Telegraph said: “The Board and Management of Daar Communication PLC are working on the matter.

That’s all I can say for now.” However, DAAR Communications PLC in a terse statement on Friday signed by AIT Editor, Terverr Tyav assured members of the public that the company was engaging with the NBC to resolve the issue. “The Board and Management of DAAR Communications PLC, assures audiences of AIT and Raypower of engagement with NBC towards resolving the issue,” the statement which was posted on AIT website read. Also, in his reaction, Michael John of Silverbird Television (STV), said: “No comment for now. We are putting out a formal statement soon.”




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