The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has urged foreign broadcasters with offices in Nigeria and beaming their signals into the country to register with the commission within 30 days.
The Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah, made the call at the presentation of provisional approval to the newly approved 67 licensees, on Friday in Abuja.
Mr Ilelah also called on the Internet Protocol Television, IPTV, and other broadcast stations streaming online, to register with the commission to avoid disconnection and prosecution.
He said that NBC was determined to collaborate with security agencies to clamp down on illegal broadcasters in the country.
The NBC boss reminded licensees that are yet to pay their outstanding debts, to hurriedly pay or have their licences revoked for illegal broadcasting.
”Refusal to pay is an economic sabotage and the commission will have no option than to collaborate with security and anti-corruption agencies to redeem the debts,“ he said.
He urged the newly approved 67 licensees to reciprocate the gesture of President Muhammadu Buhari by putting the license into use within the timeframe provided.
Mr Ilelah urged them to act responsibly and in accordance with the Act, Code and other extant laws guiding broadcasting.
”The presidential approval is a testimonial that Buhari yearns for media pluralism and freedom of expression.
“Therefore, I implore you to complement the gesture by promoting our democratic values, national unity and cultural heritage.”
He, therefore, advised the new licensees to pay attention to safeguarding the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria through their broadcast.
”This is in addition to promoting and sustaining the Nigeria’s diverse culture by ensuring diversity in programming content for the Nigeria’s widest audience.
“Most importantly is to promote Nigerian content and encourage the production and projection of Nigerian life, hence try to achieve 100 per cent local content.
”Broadcasters should note that part of the requirements for the commencement of test transmission is to send their staff for training at the newly established Nigeria Broadcast Institute,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the licensees, Dr Mustafa Lecky, the Chief Executive Officer, Afe Elamah Company Ltd. Edo, assured that they would work diligently to promote the unity of the country.
”On behalf of our members who have been given this licence we pledge to abide by the rules and regulations. We will not fail. This is a very sacred trust that we hold very dearly.
“We will pay our annual licensees fees on time diligently and completely and the commission will be happy with us.”