Ugochukwu Nwankwo – Editor
Nigeria Press organization claims to have settled the rift between the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] and Daar Communications Plc, the parent company of the Africa Independent Television and Raypower.
The NPO President, Nduka Obaigbena, said that both parties had agreed to end the feud and move forward.
Daar Communications will apparently withdraw the case, they filed against the NBC in court while NBC would also rescind the suspension of AIT and Raypower 100.5FM.
The statement read in part,
“The NBC will immediately lift the suspension of the broadcast license of DAAR Communications Plc. The other party will withdraw its case in court, against the NBC and all parties will take necessary steps to work together to build confidence in the public interest.”
According to the statement, AIT also pledged to improve its reportage to ensure fairness and balance.
Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of Daar Communications, also promised to ensure quick payments of all dues to NBC.
It added, “DAAR Communications Plc. will work out a new realistic payment plan with the NBC and ensure prompt payments in accordance with the new plan.
“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.”
The NBC 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 as the pending issues between both
However, DAAR Communications Plc. defended its position saying it gives its team guarantees freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference as stated in Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution.
DAAR communications stated that they had made some payments to the NBC but acknowledged that there were some defaults in the payment plan they submitted to the 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.