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NBC to review broadcast code, increase license fee

Court nullifies NBC’s power to impose fines on broadcast stations

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) during a press briefing in Lagos today about the upcoming AFRICAST conference said it will soon review the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and may consider an upward review of television and radio stations license fees after consulting stakeholders in the industry.

However, the commission disclosed that the review and increase of the broadcast license fee will not be implemented in haste as it will engage all industry stakeholders before taking further decisions.

Balareba Shehu Ilelah, director general, NBC said,” We will seek contributions from all stakeholders in the industry to review the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. We are also considering an upward review of the broadcast license for TV and radio stations.”

Meanwhile, Yemisi Bamgbose, executive secretary Broadcast Organisation of Nigeria (BON) Considering the economic situation of the country pleaded with the commission on behalf of broadcast stations not to increase the licenses at the moment, explaining that the sector has been majorly affected.

“Let me appeal to the DG and of course the NBC not to increase the licence fee now. Broadcasters are already going through a very difficult time so I don’t think this is the best time to increase their licence fee or any other fees at all,” Bamgbose said.

In response, the DG said there will be a need for consultation before any review.

Read also: Telecoms investment hit $75.56bn in 2021

Speaking on the upcoming International Conference of African Broadcasters, AFRICAST 2023 which is coming to Lagos for the first time, themed ‘Broadcast Content: Synergy, Finance and Market’, scheduled to hold from 24th to 26th October 2023, the commission said it will provide a platform for analysis and review of Africa’s broadcast perspective to meet international best practices and standards.

Ilelah said Lagos provides a robust atmosphere to discuss and pursue international best practices in the broadcasting profession being a major hub for broadcast activities.

He said the event promises to unveil unparalleled opportunities in technology for the best broadcast profession across Africa.

“Africast 2023 will showcase modern technologies, thought-provoking discussions, and networking opportunities to foster collaboration and drive innovation across various sectors,” Ilelah said.

The event will feature a diverse range of sessions, exhibitions, and interactive experiences to cater to the interests and needs of attendees.

Also, the event has attracted two partners, Broadcast Media Africa, (BMA) and Nigerian International Film & Tv Summit, (NiFS).

BMA’s role is to project Africa’s broadcast and media industry to the world and bring the world to Nigeria’s broadcast Industry while that of NiFS provides a link between broadcasters and top-class content creators and push narratives towards how to create relevant contents that will bridge the gap between what the old generations want to watch and what the new generation are tilting towards.

The essence is to create the right balance and ensure the broadcast media serve the old and new generations a common bouquet.

Ijeoma Onah, representing NiFS said, “My worry is that there is a wide gulf between the contents now and what the new generation is looking out for. They are creating their own platforms and appear to be leaving us behind. If we don’t create a balanced Nigeria, the broadcast sector will lose a sizeable chunk of followership. The sector should focus more on content and not just infrastructure. While infrastructure is the vehicle, content is the fuel. Without fuel, no matter how posh the vehicle is, it can never move.”

“That narrative is what we will push with Africast 2023” she added.