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Nigerian Press Organisation resolves NBC, AIT face-off

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC ) and DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, have resolved their differences.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC ) and DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, have resolved their differences.

Nduka Obaigbena, president of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said a meeting was convened for all parties to “resolve the issues in the national interest”.

NBC had recently suspended the Broadcast License of DAAR Communications Plc over alleged infractions. DAAR consequently went to court to challenge the action of the regulatory agency. The Court however ordered both parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.

 

Read the full statement below:

NBC / AIT Faceoff Resolved

Following the suspension of the Broadcast License of DAAR Communications Plc., owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM by the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ), the President of the Nigerian Press Organisation ( NPO ) comprising of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria ( BON ), The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists ( NUJ), convened a meeting of all parties to resolve the issues in the national interest.

The meeting hosted at 8PM, on Sunday 9th of June, 2019, by elders and patrons of NPO, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua and Uncle Sam Amuka, had the following in attendance:

1. Ishaq Modibbo -Kawu – Director General & CEO, NBC;

2. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, DAAR Communications Plc;

3. Raymond Dokpesi, jnr, Chairman of the Board, DAAR Communications PLC;

4. Mr Tony Akiotu, GMD, DAAR Communications Plc;

5. Mrs Tosin Dokpesi , MD, AIT;

6. Barrister Donatus Anopuo – Company Secretary DAAR Communications PLC;

7. Uncle Sam Amuka, Publisher, VANGUARD Group;

8. Mallam Ismaila Isa, Patron NPAN and

9. Nduka Obaigbena, President NPAN and President NPO.

At the meeting the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) restated their commitments to freedom of expression and the constitutionally guaranteed role of the media under sections 22 and 39 to hold governments accountable, which states amongst others that the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media are to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in the 1999 constitution and ensure the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.

The NBC also raised concerns about the non-adherence of the DAAR Communications group (AIT/Ray Power) to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, despite repeated interactions on same; the NBC then cited lack of editorial balance by DAAR Communications as well as the lingering issue of non-payment of national network license fees by DAAR Communications.

DAAR Communications Plc. defended its position saying it gives its team freedom to make editorial commentary on issues of the day relying on Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of Expression, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference.

DAAR stated it had made some payments on account to the NBC but acknowledged that there were some defaults in the payment plan they submitted to the NBC, and explained that the defaults were due to decisions jointly reached at BON meetings by all broadcasters to engage and renegotiate the cost of license fees with NBC, in view of the current difficult economic realities affecting the industry. But the NBC insists that license fees are statutory and thus non-negotiable.

After an exhaustive dialogue, all parties RESOLVED as follows:

1. DAAR Communications Plc. will work out a new realistic payment plan with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and ensure prompt payments in accordance with the new plan;

2. DAAR Communications Plc. will appoint an Ombudsman to ensure balance in its news coverage especially political commentary; it will also take full editorial responsibility for the use of content sourced from social media outlets;

3. Following this NPO statement, The NBC will immediately lift the suspension of the broadcast license of DAAR Communications Plc;

4. DAAR Communications Plc. will withdraw its case in court, against the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and;

5. All parties will take necessary steps to work together to build confidence in the public interest.

 

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Bauchi govt to launch agricultural policy document

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Governor Mohammed

Bauchi State Government is set to launch an Agricultural Policy Document to ensure smooth agricultural production in the state.

The State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday at the official launching of the 2019 farming season and sales of Fertilizer held at Zaki Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Mohammed who announced the sales of the fertilizer at a cost of Five thousand, five hundred naira per bag, noted that funds has been released to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide six thousand metric tons of the fertilizer.

He said in order to meet the fertilizer demand of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and BASAC was been directed to ensure the availability of the commodities across the 20 local government areas.

The Governor said the sales of the fertilizer was part of the determination of his administration towards the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers in line with his campaign promises.

According to him, agricultural sector has remained a vibrant sector which has the potentials of providing raw materials to industries and empowerment opportunities to unemployed youth.
Governor Mohammed applauded the peaceful coexistence among farmers and herdsmen in the state and assured of his support to them.

In a key note address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Bala Lukshi said significant improvement in agricultural productivity and efficiency would no doubt address unemployment and assist towards poverty reduction in the state.

The Permanent Secretary while disclosing some of the agricultural intervention programmes introduced by the Ministry, observed that agriculture remained the mainstay of economy and major employer of labor.

Dr Bala Lukshi therefore appealed for the immediate government action on the outbreaks of qualia birds, army worms and stem borer in the crop sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.

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James Hope College student wins Cambridge scholarship

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James Hope College (JHC) has reaffirmed its impressive stance on academic excellence with its recent award for the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship. Just a few months after the College published its outstanding IGCSE result, recording 100% score in 14 subjects (A* – C), one of JHC’s students, Akajiugo Amucheazi won the highly sought-after 2019 Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, following his qualification through the rigorous nomination round.

Akajiugo will be joining other award winners worldwide in Cambridge, from August 11 to August 24, 2019 for their intensive course. This Scholars Programme is an excellent accolade for any high-performing student interested in pursuing further studies at a leading university.

Immerse Education, the award provider of the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, is an award-winning academic programme in the United Kingdom. Its unique academic enrichment programmes provide an unparalleled glimpse into university-level education. All programmes are designed by expert, experienced tutors, which include some of the brightest minds from some of the world’s leading universities. Visit here for more details.

James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta Stat

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N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency

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Emir of Kano, Sanusi replies Ganduje

The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has described the claim by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, that he was not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council as a misrepresentation of facts.

The agency debunked this in a preliminary report on the investigation being carried out in respect of the alleged misappropriation of over N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council between 2014 and 2017.

The report was signed by the commission’s Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.

The report dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the Secretary to the State Government.

It read: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May, 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-

“It is imperative to state categorically that, the Commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.

“In the cause of investigation we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council domiciled at First Bank with Account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the Late Emir to enable the Commission have an idea of how the money is being managed.”

According to the report, there were 783 withdrawals or transfers and placements from Jan. 2, 2013, to June 6, 2014, during the time of the late Emir.

“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April, 2017, the opening balance was N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09.”

However, it added that, “the closing balance as at April, 2017, was N7,449,585.62″.

It further revealed that on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertaken the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of the sum of N776,159,519.50.

“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd.”

The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.

“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the Account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09.

“It is evidently clear that the current Emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domiciled in First Bank Plc,” it said.

Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the Emirate Council were either based on the approval or instructions of Emir Sanusi.

The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively“.

“Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.

“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (Senior Accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and changed it to Dollars on behalf of the Emir.

“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a Bureau De Change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.

“The Commission still maintains the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only,” the report emphasised.

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