By Abdul Aji.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described the decision by industry regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the commission was ill advised.
The 52 affected broadcast stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billon since 2015.
Chris Isiguzo, National President of NUJ, in a press release said, “although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, yet we insist that the action was ill timed and reckless.
“It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences at this critical time of insecurity in the country appears to be a decision taken without careful prior deliberation, consultation or counsel.
“While we regret the inability of these broadcast stations to fulfill their obligations to NBC, in-view of dwindling resources, we caution against such large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence.
“We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such media blackout at this time.
“We call on NBC to exercise more restraint on this issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation.”
The NBC on Wednesday, August 19, 2022, revoked the license of 52 radio and television stations across the country over indebtedness to the commission.