The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), yesterday, announced that it has lifted the suspension placed on the operating license of Daar Communications Plc, operators of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.
While announcing the Commission’s decision, yesterday, in Abuja, director general of NBC, Ishaq Moddibo Kawu, reiterated that lifting of the suspension was based on terms of agreement between the management of Daar Communications and NBC.
“The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) shall withdraw forthwith, the suspension of the National Network Broadcast License (Radio/TV) of DAAR Communications Plc,” Kawu said.
He noted that the terms of settlement were filed and entered as the consent judgment of the court in Suit No FHC/ABJ/C5/595/2019.
“On the basis of the judgment, I will like to use this opportunity to inform the Nigerian public, that the NBC has withdrawn the suspension notice issued to DAAR Communications Plc. We want to reiterate our full confidence in the Nigerian legal system and we urge that DAAR Communications Plc, will take necessary steps to abide by the terms of settlement entered as judgment of the court,” Kawu added.
According to the Commission, the terms of settlement include: “Daar Communications Plc shall furnish the National Broadcasting Commission with a concrete and realistic proposal for the payment of its outstanding license renewal fee for the National Network Broadcast License (Radio/TV).
“That DAAR Communications Plc shall take the necessary internal steps to ensure balance in its news coverage, especially political commentary on the DAAR Communications Plc stations across the country.
“That DAAR Communications Plc shall take full editorial responsibility of the use of Content sourced from Social Media and all/any other outlets.
“That DAAR Communications Plc shall ensure that all programs transmitted on its TV/Radio stations across the country comply with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Cap NII, laws of the Federation, 2004 and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code as may be in force or/ and as amended from time to time,” he stated.
The Commission, however, warned other licensees who owe license fees to fulfill their financial obligations or risk sanctions.
According to Kawu, the Commission is being owed about N4 billion.
“But I want to reiterate that there is no license that is too big or too small to be regulated. We are not and will never be a censorship institution. The NBC Act does not give us such power, and neither did the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. We remain a regulatory agency, that remains committed to ensuring that Nigerian Broadcasting, in the words of the Code, “shall influence society positively, setting the agenda for the social, cultural, economic, political and technological development of (our) nation, for the public good”.
Meanwhile, the Commission has announced completion of the 6th edition of the Nigeria broadcasting code.
The code, Kawu said, will be launched on July 4th, 2019.
The commission also announced that 440 infractions were recorded in the first quarter of this year, while 155 were penalised according to the quarterly release of the Breach Profile of Nigerian broadcast stations for 2019.