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Covid-19: FG grants broadcast stations debt forgiveness

The Federal Government has announced a number of measures aimed at instituting financial sustainability among broadcast stations in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced this on Monday during a press conference on FG’s interventions to the stations.

He said according to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal government to the tune of N7. 8 billion in total.

“Also, many of the stations are faced with the reality that their licenses will not be renewed, in view of their indebtedness.

“Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following measures to revamp the Broadcast Industry and to help reposition it for the challenges of business, post-Covid-19:-

“60 percent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country.

“The criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor stations to pay 40 percent of their existing debt within the next three months

“Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 percent indebtedness within the 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.

“The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent for all Open Terrestrial Radio and Television services effective July 10th, 2020

“The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed Terrestrial Radio and Television stations only

“The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay TV service operators in Nigeria.

“The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10th 2020 to October 6th, 2020.”

He said the Federal Government has made these interventions with a view to re-positioning the Broadcast Industry to play its critical role of promoting democracy and good governance in Nigeria.

“It is our expectation that the sector will cash in on this unique opportunity to make itself an effective catalyst for national development,” he added.

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