The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has advocated for launching a legislative process that will restore the collection of local radio and television licence fees to broadcasters instead of Local Government Councils.
John Ugbe, the Chairman of BON, made the call earlier this week in Kano during the state’s Digital Switchover launch. Dr Mansur Liman, Ugbe’s Deputy and Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, requested the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, or the National Assembly to initiate the process.
He alleges that the Local Government Councils were wrongfully conferred the power to collect TV and radio license fees under the 1999 Constitution.
“Nowhere in the world can we comprehend the synergy between the Local Government Council and the collecting of radio and television license fees.”
“Broadcasters collecting local radio and television license fees will provide necessary funding for content development and proper public broadcasting.” We believe the minister and the national assembly have what it takes to return what is rightfully belongs to the broadcaster, as has been done in other countries.”
The success of digital broadcast migration, according to Ugbe, is entirely dependent on broadcasters, who are both channel owners and content providers. Therefore, as a critical player in the broadcasting industry, he pledged that the organisation would continue to work with the National Broadcasting Commission to achieve the attainable digital migration that would benefit Nigerians.
The chairman also requested more funding for the NBC to expedite DSO coverage across the country before the end of the current administration.