The Nigeria Union of Journalists has described the decision of the National Broadcasting Commission to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over-indebtedness to the commission as “a hasty decision”.
The PUNCH had reported that the African Independent Television, Silverbird Television and the broadcasting corporations run by various state governments had been directed by the National Broadcasting Commission, to shut down their operations within the next 24 hours over debts amounting to at least N2.6bn.
However, NUJ in a statement signed by its National President, Chris Isiguzo, stated that although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that the sanction had no political motives, the action was ill-timed and reckless.
He said, “It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licenses 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 large-scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence. We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such media blackout at this time.
He, therefore, implored the 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.
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