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N2.6bn debt: NBC suspends closure of 53 broadcast stations

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has temporarily suspended the shutdown of the indebted broadcast stations across the country.

The NBC Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah, made this known via a statement made available to The Star on Friday.

It would be recalled that the commission, on August 19, revoked the licences of 53 broadcast stations in the country over N2.6 billion debt.

The commission ordered the affected stations to shut down in the next 24 hours and directed NBC offices nationwide to collaborate with the security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.

NBC later extended the period which all outstanding debts are to be paid from 24 hours to Wednesday.

It stated that the extension of the enforcement date was due to an appeal by the affected broadcast stations, relevant stakeholders, public-spirited individuals, and organisations.

However, the NBC DG, on Friday, said following the ultimatum, the commission received positive responses from the debtor licensees, including big players in the broadcast industry.

Ilelah stated: “Sequel to a follow-up meeting held with Executives of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), and other critical Stakeholders in the industry, the Commission has decided to temporarily suspend the shutdown of the indebted Broadcast stations all over the Country.

“We express our profound appreciation to the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, the affected licensees and Broadcast Stakeholders for their responses and interventions. We, specifically, thank DAAR Communications Ltd and Silverbird TV/Rhythm FM for their responses.

“The Commission is not unaware of the difficulties this shutdown must have caused the operators and other stakeholders, but must state that the Commission will always operate within the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Cap. N11, Laws of the Federation, 2004.”

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