President Muhammadu Buhari has granted operating licenses to 159 companies, communities and institutions of higher learning to operate radio and television stations.

This is coming at a time the federal government had been calling on the press to self-regulate to help guard against the several incidents of fake news.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Balarabe Ilelah, on Tuesday in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

What the Director-General of NBC is saying

He said that the newly approved broadcast licenses will be an addition to the already existing 625 functional broadcast stations.

Ilelah said, “Following the approval granted by the president, NBC has released the list of 159 licenses granted to companies, communities and institutions of higher learning.

“The commission was established by the NBC ACT, Cap. N11, Laws of the Federation 2004 with the mandate to regulate and control broadcasting in Nigeria. Today, there are a total of 625 functional broadcast stations in Nigeria.’’

The NBC boss said that the newly-approved licenses were the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro (Radio), Prospective Union of Reno People (Radio), Smile Community Radio Initiative and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Radio.

He said others are Dudu African Broadcasting Communications Ltd., Independent Television, Prince Media Network, Jamkat Integrity Investment Ltd., Hikima Media Services, and Galaxy Television Radio.

The list also includes H-i Fidelity Communications, B360 Nigeria Ltd., Communication Faculties Ltd., Godfrey Okoye University Radio, Art Broadcasting Company, Hamdana Media, Sunshine Radio, Blue Print Newspapers Ltd., NV Broadcasting Company Ltd. And many others.

What you should know

Recall that in August 2019, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide-ranging reforms in the broadcasting industry, including the licensing of online radio and television stations.