Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
announced the granting of a two-month licence-fee waiver for
terrestrial broadcast stations in the country by the National
Broadcasting Commission, NBC, as part of efforts to ease the negative
effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the broadcast industry.
The Minister, who stated this at a meeting with the Broadcasting
Organisations of Nigeria, BON in Abuja on Wednesday, also announced
the setting up of a committee of Creative Industry stakeholders to
look into and advise the Federal Government on the best way to
mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the industry.
“Before I announce the terms of reference of the committee, let me say
that in the interim, I want to announce that I have approved the
request by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to grant a
two-month licence-fee waiver for terrestrial broadcast stations in
“I make bold to say that while BON members have been hit hard by the
current pandemic, they are not alone. In fact, 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.
Alhaji Mohammed stressed the need for 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 Industry.
“We have therefore decided that instead of addressing this problem
piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome,”
he said, noting 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, in addition to creating
the highest number of jobs after Agriculture.
The Minister said the terms of reference of the committee include to
assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general
and advise the Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in
the sector as well as to create succour for the industry small
The committee is also to suggest the type of taxation and financing
that is best for the industry at this time to encourage growth and
also advise the Government on any other measure or measures that can
be undertaken to support the industry.
The committee has Ali Baba, a renowned Comedian, as Chairman while
Anita Eboigbe of the News Agency of Nigeria will serve as Secretary.
Other members of the Committee include Bolanle Austen Peters, Charles
Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita, Baba Agba, Kene Okwuosa, Efe Omoregbe,
Prince Daniel Aboki, Chioma Ude, Olumade Adesemowo, Dare Art Alade and Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim.
Representatives of the Fashion, Publishing, Photography as well as
Hospitality and Travel sectors are also to be included in the
committee, which has four weeks to submit its report.
In her remarks, the Chairperson of BON, Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim, who was
represented by Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, called for urgent mitigating
measures for broadcast stations in the country which, she said, have
all suffered huge revenue losses due to the pandemic.
She 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.