COVID-19 : Fg grants a two-month licence fee waiver to broadcast stations

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with the Broadcasting PHOTO: Twitter


Sets up a 14-man committee to examine, give advise on the best way to mitigate the effect of coronavirus pandemic on broadcast industry

The Federal government has announced has approved a two-month licence fee waiver for terrestrial broadcast stations in Nigeria.

Also, the Government has set up a 14-man committee of industry stakeholders to look into and advise it on the best way to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who announced this at a meeting with the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) yesterday in Abuja explained that the measure followed the request by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to grant the waiver to the terrestrial broadcast stations in Nigeria.

The minister noted that while BON members have been hit hard by, the effects of the current pandemic, they are not alone as the entire Creative Industry, which also covers the Broadcast Industry, has been affected by the pandemic that has inflicted extensive damage on the economy of nations across the world.

He said We have therefore decided that instead of addressing these problems piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome. 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. 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”.

to put on record that the NBC has sent protective equipment to some Community Broadcast Stations across the country.

The Committee headed by stand up comedian, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobo also known as Alli have the following Terms of Reference :

*To assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general

*Advise the Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector as well as to create succour for the industry small
businesses

*Suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the
industry at this time to encourage growth
*Advise the Government on any other measure or measures that can be undertaken to support the industry.

Other members of the Committee include Bolanle Austen Peters – Film and Performing Arts (TerraKulture), Charles Novia – Television and Independent Producer(TeenTV), Segun Arinze- Actor and Producer, Ali Jita – Actor and Musician
Baba Agba – Film Director (BCI Studios), Kene Okwuosa – Cinema and Distribution (Filmhouse) and Efe Omoregbe – Record label and Collective rights management (Hypertek/Now Muzik).

Prince Daniel Aboki – Radio and Film (CoolFM/WaZoBia), Chioma Ude – Streaming (Envivo), Olumade Adesemowo – Television and Platform (FreeTV), Dare Art Alade – Livespot Entertainment, Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim – Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) and Anita Eboigbe – News Agency of Nigeria (Secretary)

Lai Mohammed said that government is still expecting the representatives of the Fashion, Publishing, Photography as well as Hospitality and Travel sectors adding that the Committee has four weeks to submit its report.

Earlier, the Chairperson of BON, Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim observed that the recent outbreak of COVID -19 pandemic and the resulting effects have adversely affected revenue generation and earnings of the broadcast outlets which if not properly managed will lead to the collapse and shut down of many of these information dissemination outlets with attendant unemployment and decline in the availability of information.

Represented by Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, called for, the BON chairperson who called for urgent mitigating measures for broadcast stations in the country, disclosed that privately-owned broadcast stations have contributed
over N2 billion worth of airtime, free of charge, for public sensitization and awareness campaign for the containment of the disease in Nigeria as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.,

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