Allow us to regulate NBC, operators tell FG


Operators in the nation’s broadcast industry have called on the federal government to avail industry practitioners the opportunity to regulate the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to make it truly efficient.

The operators also urged the government steer clear of the control of the National Broadcasting Commission.

Speaking in Abuja, the Federal Capital territory, at the Town Hall Meeting on Media and Regulation, organised by Daar Communications Ltd, recently, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, chairman and founder of Silverbird Group, argued that the Commission had not been able to, effectively, discharge its statutory duties; since it is presently bogged down by bureaucracies.

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, added that 70 percent of the board should comprise practitioners, from the various broadcast stations, spread across the country, to truly make the agency efficient.

“I think to make the NBC truly effective, 70 percent of its board should comprise folks from AIT, Silverbird, Galaxy, Channels and others. They should regulate themselves and have a say in the policy directions of their businesses,” he argued.

The former lawmaker also queried the operating fees being charged the nation’s broadcast stations by the Commission, describing it as ‘rather high and a disincentive to business’.

“Besides, what the agency charges these companies are too high. Perhaps such would have been understood in the days when AIT, Channels, Silverbird and few radio stations, were the only broadcast stations in the country.

“Now you find hundreds of radio stations, hundreds of TV stations. But the cost structure is still the same as when Abacha was in office. You are killing the industry by doing this. It’s affecting many companies to the extent that they are finding it difficult paying salaries on time.

“So I’m asking the current leadership of NBC to look at the economics of Nigeria, today, and rejig what they charge, to make it possible for the folks in the industry to make a living.

In his contribution, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of Daar Communications, called for the review of the NBC Code, while urging the federal government to stop interfering in the affairs of the agency.

“When I look at what is happening in the nation’s broadcast industry today, I weep. There has been no clear definition of how private broadcasting must be funded, and how public companies should be funded. That is why we see local government areas collect broadcasting licences.

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