In line with its effort to stimulate the economy of the country, the Federal Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has declared that broadcasting stations in Nigeria are to enjoy two months licence fee waiver in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Minister also revealed the setting up of a committee of creative industry stakeholders to advise the federal government on the best way to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the industry.
The Minister in his statement stated that “Before I announced the terms of reference of the committee, let me say that in the interim, I want to announce that I have approved the request by the NBC to grant a two months licence-fee waiver for terrestrial broadcast stations in Nigeria.
He continued, I made bold to say that while BON members have been hit hard by the current pandemic, they are not alone.
In fact, the entire creative industry, which covers also the broadcast industry, has been affected by the pandemic that has inflicted extensive damage on the economy of nations across the world.
Mr Mohammed reiterated that the need for collective support in the government approach in handling the immediate and the long term palliative and initiatives for the industry so that the pandemic will have a less impact on the industry.
He, therefore, stated, ‘We have decided that instead of addressing this problem piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome.
The Minister further explained that the creative industry was a very critical sector of the nation’s economy and a major springboard for economic diversification of the Buhari administration when considering it to be a major employer of labour after agriculture.
Terms of reference for the committee include is to assess the impact expected from the pandemic on the industry in general and come up with solutions on how government should go about it so that jobs and revenues are not lost out completely in the sector as well as other small businesses in the industry, the Minister said.
He added the committee is to also suggest the model of taxation and financing that will best serve the industry during this trying period as well as guaranteeing growth.
Any other measures that can be adopted by the government to support the industry will go a long way.
The members of the committee comprise of Ali Baba, the Legend comedian as the chairman, while Anita Ebiigbe of the News Agency of Nigeria as the Secretary.
Other members are; Charles Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita, Baba Agba Kene Okwuosa, Bolanle Austen Peters, Prince Daniel Aboki, Olumade Adesemowo, Dare Art Alde, Hajara Sa’a Ibrahim and Chioma ude.
A representative from fashion industries and photography were not left behind as they were given four weeks to submit its report.
Hajiya Sa’a Ibrahim, the chairperson of BON who was represented by Godfrey Ohuabunwa in her remarks suggested that there is need for immediate mitigation for the broadcast station in the country as they have suffered much revenue loss during this pandemic.