NLC President, Ayuba Wabba
President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba has called for a review of the cost of operating licenses for broadcast stations in Nigeria.
The call comes few days after the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) announced the withdrawal of the licenses of over 53 television and radio stations across the country.
In a statement the NLC president says the decision failed to take into consideration, the economic challenges that have hurt the operations of the stations, as the stations did not deliberately refuse to renew the licenses.
“In defense of the media, democratic and economic rights of Nigerians, we call on NBC to rescind this decision to withdraw the operating licenses of the affected 53 media houses.
“In light of our foregoing concerns, we urge that the media operating license be reviewed downwards as information dissemination is a social service.” He said.
Comrade Wabba noted that though NBC had a regulatory duty in the broadcast industry, the withdrawal of the licenses “is a little too drastic, dramatic, draconian, and debilitating not only for the affected media houses but also for their staff and indeed millions of Nigerians who follow programs from the affected media houses”.
The NLC President said many media houses just like most businesses in Nigeria suffer escalating business costs and plummeting revenues.
“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”. Comrade Wabba noted.
He added that in spite of these operational suffocations, the media houses should be eulogised for resilience, and tenacity in the face of prevailing economic blizzards.
Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; editing by Muzha Kucha