The licence of Daar Communications Plc, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power, has been suspended indefinitely by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The suspension, according to the Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, was given for failure of the TV and radio stations to abide by the broadcasting code.
An NBC statement confirming the suspension of the media group read:
“Following monitoring reports and complaints from concerned Nigerians about the broadcast contents of Daar Communications Plc’s AIT/Raypower broadcast stations, the NBC have over the last 2 years summoned on several occasions management of the company to address issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower with the company, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.
“In one of our meetings, held on 2nd June 2017, the Commission expressed its disappointment with the way and manner hate speech, divisive and inciting comments are applied in discussion of national issues in breach of the provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcast Code.
“Again, on 15th August 2017, it became imperative to invite the company for yet another meeting on almost same issues. Furthermore, while addressing another meeting on 7th February 2018 we highlighted issues of concern to the Commission which indicated that the company had been breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the Broadcast Code. The company’s delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.
“However, on October 18, 2018, the Commission was disturbed with the manner in which social media issues became part of the mainstream media unedited on AIT/Raypower, and was constrained to issue a generic letter to all broadcast stations on.
“Instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms.
“Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.
“In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carry on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission. They don’t pay their licence fees as and when due.
“Its broadcast is patently partisan and one sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity. The management of the company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.
“Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Rapower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.
“Consequently, after several meetings with management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning, the NBC, today 6th June 2019 took a decision to suspend the license of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11
“The SHUTDOWN order is until further notice.”