NBC Seeks National Assembly’s Support on Funding

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Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has appealed to the National Assembly to help strengthened the commission’s Act to give it the impetus to achieve results and measure up the digital standard expected of a regulator of broadcasting in the digital era.

NBC Board Chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Bilbis, and the Director General, Alhaji Modibbo Kawu, made the appeal at a two-day management retreat organised in Ibadan for the House Committee on Information, National Orientation Ethics and Value.

Biblis, who was represented by Alhaji Danladi Bako, said the digital switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial television platforms being a critical part of these projects has been stalled due to dearth of funds

While seeking the support of the committee in the release of funds for the completion of the project which is a global phenomenon, he maintained that the commission could achieve the goal of enthronement and sustenance of a laudable broadcasting industry when the NBC is adequately supported by all stakeholders including the National Assembly.

Kawu, on his part, said one of the major agenda of the industry today, was the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, stating that it’s a major international commitment that the country is undertaking in consonance with the directives of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

“As you might be aware, we have carried out the Digital Switch Over in six locations around the country. We want to accelerate the process of completion of the project around the country, but we face the challenge of financing,” he pointed out.

Modibbo, who disclosed that Nigeria had a total of 726 radio and television stations with 445 radio stations and 281 television stations with new stations coming on literally every month, said “as we speak, we are processing a long list of new commercial radio stations; DTT television outfits; community radio stations; campus broadcasters as well as public institutions’ radio stations.”

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi, lauded the NBC leadership for organising the retreat which he said was meant to brief members of the committee on the mandate of the agency and update them on conception, implementation, benefits and challenges of the Digital Switch Over in Nigeria, including other past and present endeavours of the NBC with a view to put all hands on deck for the progress of broadcasting industry in Nigeria.

“It is in my believe that at the end of this programme, we will all be on the same page as to the connection between the NBC and Nigerians,” he said.