The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria has called for initiation of a legislative process that will restore the collection of local radio and television licence fees to broadcasters instead of Local Government Councils.
The Chairman of BON, John Ugbe, made the call on Tuesday in Kano at the launching of Digital Switch Over in the state.
Ugbe, who was represented by his Deputy and Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Mansur Liman, urged the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, or the National Assembly to initiate the process.
He said the 1999 Constitution wrongfully confers the power to collect TV and Radio licence fees on the Local Government Councils.
He said: “The constitution has wrongly empowered the Local Government to rob the broadcast industry in the collection of radio and TV licence fees.
“This is akin to making Peter to rob Paul.
“We cannot understand the synergy between the Local Government Council and the collection of radio and TV licence fee anywhere in the world.
“Collection of local radio and TV licence fee by broadcasters will provide necessary funding for content development and allow for proper public broadcasting.
“We believe that the minister and the national assembly have what it takes to return to the broadcaster what belongs to them as it is done in other countries.”
Ugbe said the success of digital broadcast migration rested squarely on broadcasters who are channel owners and content providers.
He assured that the organisation, as a critical stakeholder in the broadcasting industry, would continue to partner with the National Broadcasting Commission in achieving the attainable digital migration that would be beneficial to Nigerians.
The chairman also solicited for more fund to the NBC to fast-track the coverage of DSO in the entire country before the end of the current administration.