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COVID-19: Nigerian govt grants 2-month licence waiver to broadcast stations

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday the Federal Government had granted a two-month licence fee waiver for terrestrial broadcast stations in a bid to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the broadcast industry.

Mohammed, who disclosed this at a meeting with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) in Abuja, said the federal government had approved the request by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to grant the waiver.

The minister said the government also approved the distribution of protective equipment to some community broadcast stations across the country.

He acknowledged that BON members and other sectors of the creative industry had been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19.

He disclosed that the government was taking a holistic approach to address the damage inflicted by COVID-19 on the creative industry.

Mohammed said: “Let me stress here that the creative industry is a very critical sector of the nation’s economy and a major plank of the economic diversification policy of this administration.

“It creates the highest number of jobs after agriculture, especially for the youth.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt decries violation of COVID-19 lockdown guidelines

“Therefore, there is no doubt that we need a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the immediate, short and long term palliatives and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the sector.”

He disclosed that government had decided to set up a committee of industry stakeholders to advise it on the best way to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the industry.

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