The National Broadcasting Commission has threatened to sanction some broadcast stations over licencing fees they owe it, which run into N4.3bn.
NBCs Director-General, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, said in Lagos on Monday that the stations affected had generally been unresponsive to the calls it earlier made on the matter.
The DG said, “The NBC is determined to fully collect all licence fees that it is owed. We are prepared to work with our licencees for an acceptable payment formula, which must be in place by the 15th of September 2018. Thereafter, we would be obliged to enforce the provisions of the law.
“The fees are basic, obligatory and non-negotiable. The plea that the economy is in a bad state is an absolutely unacceptable excuse for refusing to pay licence fees. We all know how the Federal Inland Revenue Service enforces its laws or the Nigerian Communications Commission and other sister regulatory agencies. Because we know that a lot of them are targeting elections and the money they will make, we will make it impossible for them to make that money because if they do not pay their licencing fees, then they have no right to enjoy any freebies from elections.”
At a stakeholders meeting held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, some other participants, including Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, and a former DG of the NBC, Danladi Nasir Bako, urged those guilty to pay up.
Akinfeleye, however, advised the NBC to pursue a realistic deadline.
He said, “I do not think the deadline is realistic considering the huge amount of money involved. But licencees need to send their payment plan to the NBC on or before September 10.”