The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the decision of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations in Nigeria.
The Union described the decision as a hasty one, noting that it was ill-advised and reckless.
NUJ’s National President, Chris Isiguzo, made this known in a statement signed by himself on Friday.
Isiguzo said: “Media Release NBC: A hasty decision The decision today by the Industry Regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over-indebtedness to the Commission was ill-advised. The affected stations, according to NBC, are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to ₦2.6 billion since 2015.
“Although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, we insist that the action was ill-timed and reckless. It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences 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 a large-scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence.
“We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a media blackout at this time. We call on 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.”