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We’ve Paid N13m for Licence Renewal, Radio Bayelsa Clarifies


The Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation yesterday disclosed that it had paid N13 million for the renewal of Radio Bayelsa’s operating licence, leaving only N4 million to clear its outstanding debt with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).


NBC, the regulator of broadcast industry, also clarified that it had already started working to clear outstanding license renewal fees before the NBC announced revocation of its licence.


The General Manager, Radio Bayelsa, Mr Terrence Ekise made the clarification at a session with journalists in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital yesterday.


The NBC had announced the revocation of the licenses of 50s radio and television stations, including Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation over N2.6 billion debt.


Speaking on NBC’s decision yesterday, the general manager clarified that Radio Bayelsa had paid over N13 million out of the N17 million debt.


He explained that the radio station was surprised that in spite of ongoing efforts at clearing the backlog of N17 million, the station was listed amongst those affected.


He said: “We have been working and making progress with NBC under the tenure of the previous DG. But when the new DG came, he did not want to listen to anything. Our Commissioner was so disappointed with the posture of NBC.


“At a time during the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a grace period and we had series of negotiations and reconciliation of what we have paid so far and we showed good faith to offset the remaining N4 million, but the still listed us.”


He explained that the Bayelsa government was paying greater attention to the station with the rebuilding of its office complex and order for a new transmitter as well as studio equipment.


He said that while the station is awaiting the arrival of the new transmitter, the installation of new studio equipment at the newly built office complex was ongoing.


Meanwhile, the directive by the broadcast regulator to affected stations to shutdown within 24 hours of the revocation order was yet to be complied with by two FM stations affected in Yenagoa.


Rhythms FM and Glory FM are still on air running their regular programmes as of Saturday morning.

Culled from THISDAY

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