The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for downward review of the broadcast operating licence fees due to the current economy situation in Nigeria.
President of the congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in a statement described as drastic, dramatic, draconian and debilitating, the recent withdrawal of the licenses of some television and radio media houses in Nigeria by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Comrade Wabba said NBC’s action has in no small measure direct effect on staff and millions of Nigerians who follow programs from the affected media houses. It also shows how insensitive the regulatory body is to the welfare of Nigerians who work in the affected media establishments.
“It is unthinkable that in the middle of very traumatic economic realities, government would be thinking of flinging many Nigerians into the unemployment market. Well, this is not new. A few days ago, the Nigeria Governors Forum made a case for the mass sack of Nigerians in government employment. The unsolicited advice which had been robustly deflated by the NLC reveals a very embarrassing underbelly in the thinking of those commanding the reins of power in Nigeria today. This is very sad and unfortunate.
“It was with disbelief that the NLC received the news of the withdrawal of the licenses of 52 media houses including both electronic television and radio media houses. The reason given by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was that the affected media houses failed to pay for the license renewal.
“While we understand that the NBC has a regulatory duty to ensure rules keeping, we believe that the action taken by the NBC 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.”