The Federal Government has approved the establishment of 67 new radio and television stations in the country.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Balarabe Ilelah, during a briefing with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
Ilelah, who reeled out NBC’s scorecard, noted that the nation currently has 740 functional broadcast stations in Nigeria.
He, however, said the commission fined 17 broadcast stations since the commencement of the 2023 presidential campaign in September.
He added that the commission has also sanctioned 302 for various infringements of the broadcast code.
According to him, NBC warned 196 stations; cautioned 69; queried 13; and referred nine stations to its headquarters across the country.
However, the names of the erring TV and Radio stations were not disclosed
Also, Ilelah noted that 473 stations were issued licenses by the current administration.
Among the achievements listed by Ilelah is the approval of the independence of NBC from any political interference in the exercise of its regulatory functions, particularly in regard to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting licenses by President Buhari.
According to him, this helped to a great extent in the reduction of violations by broadcasters unlike what was obtainable in the past.
Commenting on Digital Switchover (DSO), the NBC DG said President Buhari has continued to support the digital switchover in spite of inherent implementation challenges.
“The Commission is currently working on simultaneous delivery of Nigeria to the life-changing experience of digital broadcasting using SIMULCRYPT.
“Against this background, ITS and NTA-Star Nigeria have signed an agreement to actualise this at the earliest possible time. To rejig DSO, the Board of the Commission has approved licensing the 3rd signal distributor. This is in addition to the existing ones; ITS and Pinnacle,” he said.
He noted that the commission was making effort to digitise the broadcast license application processes where potential applicants may submit applications from the comforts of their homes.
He also disclosed that President Buhari has approved for the Commission to acquire state-of-the-art Nationwide Broadcast Monitoring Equipment.