The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) Mallam Shehu Ilelah announced on February 9, 2023, that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the grant of 67 new broadcast licences for the operation of a new set of radio and television stations
With the approval, the NBC DG said the total number of approved broadcast licenses by the government of President Buhari since assuming office in 2015 has now risen to 473 and that the total number of functional broadcast stations in Nigeria is now 740, adding the list is expected to grow with the new licences approved by President Buhari.
Giving a breakdown of the licenses approved by Buhari in his tenure as President, Mallam Ilelah said 210 licences were granted in 2018; 159 in 2021; 37 in 2022, and the new 67 licences that have has just been granted in 2023.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Mallam Ilelah described the approval as a great milestone in furthering pluralism and freedom of expression.
He disclosed that 47 of the newly licensed stations were FM Radio stations, while five were community Radio and four DTT Radio stations.
Speaking further, the NBC DG said despite inherent implementation challenges, President Buhari has continued to support the digital switchover, adding “The Commission is currently working on delivering Nigeria to the life-changing experience of digital broadcasting using SIMULCRYPT.”
He added: “Against this backdrop, ITS and NTA-Star Nigeria have signed an agreement to implement this as soon as possible.” The Commission’s Board of Directors has approved licensing the third signal distributor to restructure DSO. This is in addition to the already existing ITS and Pinnacle.”
The NBC, he stated, is working to digitize the broadcast license application process so that potential applicants can apply from the comfort of their own homes.