At a media briefing yesterday, the Director General of the commission, Is-haq Modibbo, said the order to the affected stations to pay their debts totalling N5billion was given after proper consultations.
He warned that after the grace period, the commission would not hesitate to close down the stations which refuse to renew their licence fees plus other obligations.
Two weeks ago, at a stakeholders’ conference, NBC admonished the 54 licensed Broadcast Stations
of the consequences of not paying their fees within 60-day.
He pointed accusing fingers at the stations for violating the commission’s statutory act that required them to inform it six months before the expiration of licences with expression of intention to continue as licensees.
“Those licences cannot be held indefinitely by individuals. There is another list of over 120 licences that were paid within the mandatory period but were unable to come on air within the mandatory two years; they are also being processed for revocation. And they will be revoked,” Modibbo said, adding that some Nigerian Broadcast
stations had persistently refused to pay licence fees.
He similarly accused licence holders of mounting pressure on the commission by lobbying political figures to bend the rule.
“Licence fees are in arrears; there is no plan by many of these stations to pay; while some even have the temerity to write NBC, the regulatory institution, that the amount they are asked to pay is too much, consequently, they then told us how much they are willing to pay, and even adding the time they are going to pay such sums that they have decided not pay.”
The NBC also announced plans to meet the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline by rolling out in six states. The states include Kaduna, Delta and Gombe and Plateau States and Abuja, while Kwara, Osun and Enugu State would be mobilised for the second signal ITS.