The Federal Government has ratified 67 new broadcast licences for radio and television stations nationwide.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Mallam Balarabe Ilelah on Thursday.
Ilelah urged broadcasters not to relent in abiding by the NBC Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, the Electoral Act, and any extant law that guides media operations to ensure that the general election is free, fair, and credible.
The development comes less than three months to the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Critics label it a parting gift from the Buhari administration.
NBC DG asked licensees that are yet to pay their debts to do the needful.
According to Ilelah, the approval of the 67 broadcast licences would amount to a total of 473 licences granted by the Buhari administration.
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Ilelah stated these during a media parley where he presented his scorecard for the past two years in office.
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 has granted approval for a hundred broadcast licences.’’
He, however, added that the number was expected to rise with the anticipatory approval of additional licences by the President soon.
The NBC DG also stated that 302 broadcast stations breached its code in the last two years. He said the President had approved the independence of the NBC from any political interference in the exercise of its regulatory functions, particularly with respect to issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting licences.
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