By Soni Daniel
National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has warned operators of radio and television stations across the country to strictly comply with operational codes or surrender the licences granted them by the Federal Government.
NBC Director-General, Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, who sounded the warning at a media briefing in Abuja, weekend, made it clear that there would no longer be room for flouting the prescribed code of operation by broadcast stations.
According to Kawu, the commission has already imposed fines on no fewer than 60 broadcast stations for breaching the broadcast code in relation to hate speech and incitement of the public during the 2019 general election.
Kawu, however, announced that despite being owed billions of naira by licencees, the NBC was progressing with its digital switchover project to bring Nigeria at par with other nations in digital broadcasting.
He said the programme, which was flagged off in Jos, Plateau State, in 2016, has since been launched in Abuja, while efforts were in top gear to take it to other cities across the country.
He said: “The important thing about the Jos pilot is that it offered us an experience of what exactly that we will be doing in the DSO.
‘’The choice of Jos was just deliberate. Jos has been at the centre of television development in Nigeria. It is reputed to be the first place to have coloured television in Nigeria. It was chosen because there has been that tradition on the Plateau. There used to be just PRTV and NTA Jos.”
“What we then did was to offer the people 15 channels on national television and with a lot of value added in the proposition.”
‘’Now it allowed NBC and our SetUp Boxes manufacturers and our signals distributors to understand how to put all these things together beyond the scenarios we are creating. We also had challenges sometime in June. We had an outage for a few days. Again it was part of the process of learning how to do it. “So of course we then went to other locations namely Ilorin, Enugu, Oshogbo and Kaduna.”