Nigerian govt grants N4.2bn debt forgiveness to radio, TV stations | Ripples Nigeria
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Nigerian govt grants N4.2bn debt forgiveness to radio, TV stations



Radio and television stations with outstanding renewal and licensing fees will have 60 per cent of their debt written off by the Nigerian government provided they pay the remaining 40 per cent within three months.

Terrestrial radio and television services will also benefit from government’s magnanimity but, in this case, up to 30 per cent for existing licensing fees beginning from 10th July.

The largesse, which added up to N4.2 billion out of total debt of N7 billion, was announced by Information and Communication Minister Lai Mohammed at a pressing briefing held alongside Armstrong Idachaba, acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Corporation in Abuja on Monday.

Stations that fail to meet the final settlement percentage requirement of the debt relief will forfeit the opportunity and have three months to clear their debts. The offer does not apply to pay-TV firms.

Read also: NBC begins implementation of reforms on broadcast industry

“According to the NBC, many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N7bn.

“Also, many of the stations are faced with the reality that their licences will not be renewed, in view of their indebtedness,” Mohammed told newsmen, adding that government took adopted the measure as a buffer against the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on broadcasting business.

He disclosed that a similar measure was under consideration by the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria hierarchy.

It is probable that Nigeria will migrate to pay-per-view model for pay TV, currently undergoing intense legislative scrutiny and which Mr Mohammed himself said was the way to go.

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