By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has urged licenced radio and television stations not to be agents to destroy the country.
The Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Balarabe Ilelah, gave the advice in Abuja on Monday.
The director-general spoke while presenting letters of provisional approval to newly licensed companies, organisations and institutions of higher learning at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Ilelah explained that no fewer than 300 applications for radio and television stations were recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for approval.
He added that the ministry processed the applications and forwarded to the Presidency and 159 applications were approved by the President.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for granting you the permission and trust to operate radio and television stations in Nigeria.
“You went through a very rigorous security check. A total of almost 300 applications for radio and television stations were sent to the President through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for approval.
“The ministry processed the applications and forwarded to the Presidency, but fortunately, a total of 159 applications were approved by the President.
“However, we have 65 applications that are still pending with the President and we will soon get them pending how and when they finished.
“And seven applications were rejected for best reason known to the security,” he said.
The director-general told the licencees that the license was granted to them on trust and the expectations on them was very high.
He also enjoined them to live up to expectations and operate within the provision of National Broadcasting Code to avoid being deviated.
“You must avoid sensational and fake news. It is one of the issues that we are fighting now in media houses in Nigeria. Do not be carried away by religious or ethnic sentiment.
“Do not be carried away by the desire to be the first to carry the news. Once you are being driven by that you will always be on the wrong side.
“You must not allow your stations to be used as platforms to destroy Nigeria. You must use your license to build and not to destroy the nation,” he said.
He warned that the commission would not hesitate to revoke any license that operate contrary to the provision of the law.
“This license is not granted to jeopardise national security, but to promote national interest and foster unity in our diversity.”
Responding, on behalf of the licencees, Prof. Mohammed Yahaya, Founder, ENUMAN Community Radio, Bida, Niger, assured that they would justify the confidence that the presidency reposed in them by abiding by the broadcasting code. (NAN)