Nigeria: Broadcasting Commission Battles Funds for Digitalisation

Regulation & Policy

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) threatened to shut down television stations that have failed to renew their broadcast licenses as it works towards raising N68 billion to fully implement the country's digital migration process.

The NBC said that a warning letter had been issued to all defaulters and that the commission would shut down television stations that failed to pay up by end of January.

“By the end of this month, any company that has not paid its broadcasting dues to the NBC will have to lose its licence,” Chairman of the commission, Emeka Mba, said.

Speaking on the country's preparation for the 2015 migration deadline, he said the funds were not readily available but that the organisation was nonetheless working with stakeholders to raise the required amount.

Besides the issue of funds, Mba said the other aspects of the digital switch over process were progressing as planned.

Reiterating the country's commitment to beat the 2015 switch over deadline, the NBC leader said the commission had convened a broadcast summit in October 2013 during which very important resolutions were reached in order to make the deadline a reality.

“The Digiteam Nigeria has been working very hard to consolidate on the technical and other details of the transition in collaboration with the commission. To execute the digital switch over.

"Consequently, the commission is now actively working towards coming on board of the signal distributors and passage of enabling laws.

"We are already working with the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws, especially relevant sections of the Nigerian Television Authority and NBC Acts,” he said.

Mba said the NBC was also collaborating with other government agencies and institutions, especially the Nigerian Customs Service, Environmental Protection Agencies, National Orientation Agency and the Nigeria Police, among others.

He said there will be a workshop with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria for all broadcasting stations nationwide.

“We are working very hard to roll out a publicity programme targeting every stratum of our publics. Our jingles and newspaper blitz will begin before the end of the month.

"Village-level sensitisation by states will also be pursued vigorously, among others,” said Mba.