Independent, privately-owned broadcasters in northern and south-western Nigeria have called for financial interventions to support their operations, saying without it, they may shut down completely as a result of low-income generation and depleted revenues, due to the current economic downturn, exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Chairman of the Northern Broadcast Media Owners Association (NBMOA), Dr. Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, revealed the situation on April 25, 2020, saying their being forced shut down would affect no less than 40 radio and television stations spread across the Northeast, Northwest and North Central Nigeria and which collectively employ about 40,000 personnel in such fields as engineering, journalism, administration and marketing.
Dr. Ramalan said the said stations have a combined audience base in excess of 80 million, which constitute about 85 percent of the population of Northern Nigeria. He said NBMOA had has written several letters to relevant authorities, including the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) explaining the fast deteriorating financial and operational condition of private broadcast stations in the region, with a view to seeking assistance by way of special intervention and different forms of patronage in programmes sponsorships and advertising to no avail.
He disclosed further that “Even before COVID-19, NBMOA member stations have operated on meagre revenues, due to the absence of big industry in the region, as we all shared from a small basket of advertising revenue that occasionally trickled in from Lagos based advertising agencies.”
In the same vein, the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) Zone C Southwest, has said it would soon shut down operations if urgent actions were not taken to address their stifled stream of income due to the COVID-19 lockdown because companies which sustain them with adverts have shut down.
Chairman, BON Zone C, Mr. Festus Kehindesaid: “It is instructive to note that the broadcast media in the Southwest, as a creative industry, contributes substantially to the nation’s GDP, and the sector is a huge employer of labour, especially youths across genres of professions. At this auspicious period, when the nation is battling this pandemic, the strategic importance of the broadcast industry cannot be overemphasised as the potent agent of advocacy across the nooks and crannies of the nation…”