TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY HON. MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON THE INTERVENTIONS BY THE FG TO ENSURE FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY AMONG BROADCAST STATIONS IN THE COUNTRY….IN ABUJA ON MONDAY, JULY 6TH 2020


Good afternoon gentlemen and welcome to this press conference, which
we have called to announce a number of measures aimed at instituting
financial sustainability among broadcast stations in the country.

2. As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected all sectors of
the nation’s economy. The Broadcast Industry has been particularly
hard-hit due to falling revenues occasioned by the dwindling adverts
and sponsored programmes, in the wake of the pandemic.

3. Indeed, on 6 May 2020, I received the officials and other
representatives of the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON),
who made a comprehensive presentation on the effects of the pandemic
on the industry and sought critical interventions by Federal and State
Governments.

4. Gentlemen, the Post-Covid-19 Initiatives Committee for the
Creative Industry, which we set up to help mitigate the negative
effects of the pandemic on the Creative Industry as a whole, has
submitted its report, which contained recommendations that will
benefit all component parts of the larger Creative Industry.

5. However, without prejudice to those recommendations, I want to
announce today a number of Broadcast Industry-specific measures aimed
at giving a lifeline to the industry which, though largely a business,
continues to function as a critical social service of sorts, which is
relevant to the information and enlightenment needs of the people.
These measures are in addition to the two-month licence-fee waiver granted
to terrestrial broadcast stations in the country by the NBC, as part of efforts
to ease the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Broadcast Industry.

6. According to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), many
Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal
government to the tune of 7. 8 billion Naira in total. Also, many of the
stations are faced with the reality that their licenses will not be
renewed, in view of their indebtedness.

7. Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore
recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following
measures to revamp the Broadcast Industry and to help reposition it
for the challenges of business, post-Covid-19:-

a) – 60 percent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in
the country.
b)◦ The criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor
stations to pay 40 percent of their existing debt within the next 3
months
c) – Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 percent
indebtedness within the 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity
to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.
d) – The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent
for all Open Terrestrial Radio and Television services effective July 10th, 2020
e) – The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed
Terrestrial Radio and Television stations only
f) – The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay TV
service operators in Nigeria.
g) – The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10th
2020 to October 6th, 2020

8. The Federal Government has made these interventions with a view to
re-positioning the Broadcast Industry to play its critical role of
promoting democracy and good governance in Nigeria. It is our
expectation that the sector will cash in on this unique opportunity to
make itself an effective catalyst for national development.

9. I thank you all for your kind attention. I will now take your
questions, strictly on the newly-announced measures.

 
 
 
 

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