By Scholastica Joseph, Makurdi
The National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, said that the decision by Industry Regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the Commission was both hasty and ill advised.
The NUJ boss, in a statement, said the NBC should rather go for dialogue to find better solutions for the sake of national security.
The affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billon since 2015.
Although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, the union President insists that the action was ill timed and reckless.
Mr Isiguzo noted that the 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.
Thw NUJ President said, “While we regret the inability of these broadcast stations to fulfill their obligations to NBC, in-view of dwindling resources, we caution against such large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence.”
While he noted that the nation cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such media blackout at such critical time, Isiguzo, called 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.”