Daar Communications Plc

One of Nigeria’s leading television stations, Africa Independent Television (AIT), is currently not broadcasting anything. This is because the operating licence of Daar Communications Plc (which owns the TV station), was suspended yesterday by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

As part of the suspension, Ray Power radio station (which is also owned by Daar Communications Plc) is also barred from broadcasting on its frequency.

Why the Suspension? According to the Director General of the NBC, Dr Modibbo Kawu, the decision to suspend the TV and radio stations was mainly prompted by the gross violations of Nigeria’s broadcasting code.

Daar Communications’ failure to pay for the license fee renewal for its radio and television stations also informed the regulator’s decision. Apparently, the company was owing and consistently refused to clear its debts despite constant reminders to do so.

While announcing the suspension in Abuja, yesterday, during a press conference, Dr Kawu stated that NBC’s suspension of the stations is backed by the NBC Act Cap N11; specifically, section 10 of the Third Schedule.

The NBC Director General also stated the following;

‘‘Following monitoring reports and complaints from concerned Nigerians about the broadcast contents of Daar Communications Plc’s AIT/Raypower broadcast stations, the NBC have over the last 2 years summoned on several occasions management of the company to address issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower with the company, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.

‘‘However, instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms. Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.

‘‘In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carry on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission. They don’t pay their license fees as and when due. Its broadcast is patently partisan and one-sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity. The management of the Company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.’’

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