The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the decision, of the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, – the industry regulator – in revoking the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over-indebtedness to the Commission.
A statement signed by the President of NUJ Chris Isiguzo stated that the decision was ‘ill-advised.’
The remaining parts of the statement read:
“The affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of license fees amounting to N2.6 billion since 2015.
“Although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, 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.:
Nigeria Union of Journalists