The Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ) has frowned at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for revoking the licenses of 52 broadcast stations in Nigeria.
The union on Friday in a statement by it’s National President, Chris Isiguzo, said, the commission’s decision was hasty.
TheFact Daily reports that NBC had earlier on Friday, revoked the broadcast licences of AIT, SilverBird Tv, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM, amongst others.
The Director General of NBC Balarabe Shehu, said, their action was as a result of the failure of the media houses to renew their broadcast licences.
Shehu further directed its state offices to liaise with security agencies to ensure the shut down of the operation of these stations within the next 24 hours.
However Isiguzo called on the commission to give room for dialogue and consultation in order to find a better way of dealing with the situation.
According to the statement, “The decision today by the 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 affected stations, according to NBC, are said to owe arrears of licence 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, 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 a large-scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence.
“We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a 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.”