As part of its palliative measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government of Nigeria has offered 60 per cent debt forgiveness to defaulting radio and TV stations.
The affected stations who are indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N7.8billion have a three-month timeline to enjoy the debt reprieve.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed made the announcement at a briefing in Abuja in company of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba.
Mohammed said: “According to the National Commission (NBC), many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N7.8billion Naira 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:-
”a) – 60 percent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country.
”b)◦ The criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtorstations to pay 40 percent of their existing debt within the next three months
“c) -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.”
On palliatives for the print media, the Minister said “we are already discussing with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).”