Foreign broadcasters with offices in Nigeria who beam their signals into the country have been given 30 days by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to show up for registration.

In order to avoid being disconnected from the internet and facing legal action, the Commission also urged all Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and other broadcast stations that stream content online to register with it.

Broadcasters should be aware that having a Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) or FM licence does not automatically entitle a broadcaster to stream online because they are two different licenses, according to Mallam Balarabe Ilelah, Director General of NBC, who issued the warning yesterday in Abuja while handing provisional licences to 67 newly approved licensees.

Ilelah noted that the NBC is determined to work with security officials to crack down on unlawful broadcasters in the nation and cautioned licensees who still owe money to pay up quickly or risk having their licences revoked for illegal broadcasting.

He said it is economic sabotage to refuse to pay licence fees, and the Commission will have no choice but to work with security and anti-corruption agencies to recoup the arrears.

The head of NBC stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s granting of 67 extra licences is evidence of his desire for media plurality and freedom of speech, and urged the new licensees to reciprocate by advancing the country’s democratic ideals, national unity, and cultural legacy.

He said: “You are also required to reciprocate the gesture by putting the license into use within the timeframe provided and act responsibly and in accordance with the Act, Code and other extant laws guiding broadcasting in Nigeria. Pay attention to safeguarding the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria through your broadcast.

This is in addition to promoting and sustaining Nigeria’s diverse culture by ensuring diversity in programming content for Nigeria’s widest audience. Most importantly however is to promote Nigerian content and encourage the production and projection of Nigerian life, hence try to achieve 100% local content “.

Ilelah drew attention to the fact that one of the conditions for the start of test transmission moving forward is that new licensees send their staff members to the newly founded Nigeria Broadcast Institute for training.

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