NBC lifts suspension on AIT, Raypower

Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) has lifted the suspension placed on the Daar Communication, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.

NBC director general Isaq Modibbo Kawu announced the settlement on Friday an agreement was reached by both parties.

The settlement, he said, is based on the fulfilment of some conditions.

NBC in May sent two separate letters to Daar Communications Group before the suspension of its stations over programme contents it considered unprofessional.

The letters signed by the commission’s broadcast monitoring director Armstrong Idachaba accused the stations of airing “offensive, unfair and unprofessional” content in violation of broadcasting rules in Nigeria.

DAAR Communications chairman, Raymond Dokpesi accused President Muhammadu Buhariof using the NBC to stifle press freedom in the country.

“I believe very strongly that under the leadership of the current Director General of the NBC (Is’haq Kawu), press freedom has been greatly eroded,” Dokpesi said in Abuja.

“Any criticism of this government is hate speech. The NBC is acting under the authority of the President and Commander-in-Chief.”

Dokpesi, who pioneered ownership of private media houses in Nigeria, also lamented the imposition of N500m in licensing fees to private broadcasting organisations while government-owned broadcasters paid N10m.

He complained that licensing fees in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world. Dokpesi said, “there is no country in the world where you have this type of exploitative fees.”

Dokpesi said the government have been inconsiderate of private media organisations in the country despite the harsh economy.

He also claimed that the “government has called this organisation unprintable names which have deterred several advertisers from patronising AIT.”

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