National Coalition on Improved Service Delivery (NACOISED) a Civil Society group advocating for good governance and sustainable development, has cautioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and indeed the Federal Government to thread softly on the decision to shut down about 52 broadcast stations in the country, for failure to pay renewal licence fees.
NACOISED in a statement by its National Coordinator, Prince Chris Azor, said that the action, if not reversed, would lead to unprecedented dislocations in lives and livelihoods, thereby, causing unenvisaged instability, poverty and ignorance in the country.
“This country at the moment, is obviously in dire straits socially, politically and economically. As we approach a critical period leading up to the general election, the Media is needed to set agenda for peace and security”,
“There is biting social and economic hardship, poverty and disease exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic. With these palpable existential challenges, we can ill afford overheating the polity with hasty anti-people decisions such as this”
“The Media has a constitutional mandate to uphold the government on its governance deliverables to the people. It’s therefore, preposterous to act in a manner that would vitiate its performance of this vital role”,
“While we are not against a regulator performing its legal obligations, as stakeholders we are mindful of the current harsh existential realities and operating environment that stare most Organizations in the face. This ought to be fully considered before any such action”,
“Most enterprises are just merely tagging along, and managing to survive” he continued.
“This action if not urgently reversed, would deprive millions of Nigerians their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of information and expression, through the affected Media Organizations”,
“To a large extent the inability of the Media Organizations to fulfill their financial obligations is a clear evidence failure of government to effectively and efficiently deliver good governance”
“We therefore, call on the NBC to reverse this hasty decision in the public interest and common good”,
“The regulator should rather take the time honoured path of dialogue mechanism to device a lasting innovative solution to this impasse”, he advised
“We also, appeal to President Buhari to intervene urgently and save the nation from impending disorder and instability that may occur as a result of his characteristic languid response to issues that require urgent Intervention”, he added.