NLC Seeks Downward Review of Media Operating Licences

NLC Seeks Downward Review of Media Operating Licences

NLC Seeks Downward Review of Media Operating Licences The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the federal government to urgently review downwards the operating licences of media organisations in the country in response to the prevailing harsh economic situation. This is contained in a statement issued by the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja.

NLC Seeks Downward Review of Media Operating Licences

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the federal government to urgently review downwards the operating licences of media organisations in the country in response to the prevailing harsh economic situation.

This is contained in a statement issued by the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja.

Recall NBC had notified the management of 52 electronic media organisations in the country of its decision to withdraw their licences for their inability to pay their licence renewal.

However, due to appeals, NBC had also on Aug. 20, extended the period which all affected media houses should pay their outstanding debts before Aug. 23.

The action, Wabba described as a “slippery road to press emasculation’’.

“The most palpable reason for the failure of many of the media houses to pay for the renewal of their operating licenses could be easily found in the deteriorating economic conditions in Nigeria.

“This is understandable given the severe stress and strain that businesses in Nigeria have been subjected to owing to fallout of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

“The ongoing disruption in global and domestic energy supply, the foreign exchange volatilities, and the associated hyper-inflation, ’’he said.

He added that many media houses just like most businesses in Nigeria suffered the double jeopardy of escalating business costs and plummeting revenues.

“To compound the situation is the epileptic supply of electricity with the national grid collapsing intermittently for the umpteenth time in recent months,’’he said.

He also said this was in addition to the soaring and scary rising energy costs which hit electronic media houses hardest given that they must always be on air whether it makes economic sense or not.

“There are salaries to pay, maintenance services, and sundry basic operating costs to keep the media houses running and serving their listening and viewing public.

“Amidst these operational suffocations, how does the NBC expect the media houses to generate the money to renew their operating licenses?

“Indeed, Nigeria’s media houses should be eulogized for resilience, and tenacity in the face of prevailing economic blizzards, ’’he said.

Wabba noted that the action of the NBC also smacks of insensitivity to the welfare of the staff of the media houses which operations were been shut down.

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