FG sanctions 302 broadcast stations, issues 67 new licences


The Federal government has approved 67 new broadcast licences for radio and television stations across the country.

The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mallam Balarabe Ilelah, disclosed this on Thursday.

He also disclosed that 302 broadcast stations breached NBC code in the last two years.

Ilelah called on broadcasters to continue to abide by the NBC Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, the Electoral Act and other extant law that guide media operation to ensure that the general elections are free, fair and credibl

The NBC said it had deployed all the technical and operational facilities for the monitoring of the elections.

The commission added that a central monitoring committee had been constituted to provide rapid response to unethical broadcasts and violations on election days.

Ilelah spoke at a media parley where he presented his scorecard in the past two years in office.

He took over after the removal of his predecessor, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba.

Ilelah said the approval of the 67 broadcast licences would  bring to a total of 473 licences granted by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Speaking on his scorecard, the NBC DG said he had repositioned the commission and made it an optimally productive regulator.

He described the approval by Buhari as a great milestone in furthering pluralism and freedom of expression in Nigeria.

A breakdown of the licences approved by the President showed a total 210 licences in 2018; 159 in 2021; 32 in 2022; five in 2022; 67 in  2023, bringing the total number of licences approved to 473 in eight years.

This is in addition to the 740 functional broadcast stations in Nigeria currently in operation.

Ilelah, however, said the number was expected to grow with the anticipatory approval of additional licences by Buhari soon.

He said, ‘‘I have committed so much to repositioning the commission and making it an optimally productive regulator.  The intrinsic democratic values in President Muhammadu Buhari have made him to be the President in the history of Nigeria that had granted approval for hundred of broadcast licences.’’

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