Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and culture
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and culture

NBC Will Be Self Funding Soon – Lai Mohammed

TECH DIGEST – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will soon be self-funding and stop drawing salaries and allocations from the Federal Government.

The minister disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a public hearing on a Bill to amend the NBC establishing Act.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public hearing was organised by House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value.

Mohammed was responding to the provision of the bill that all money accruing to NBC should be remitted to the Single Treasury Account (TSA) in line with section 162 of the 1999 Constitution.

“We have a problem with this provision because it is not in line with the thinking of the government that very soon, NBC will exit the number of parastatals whose salaries are paid by the Federal Government.

“Very soon, NBC will have to be paying the salaries of its members of staff and run its activities.

“If that is the thinking, it will bring a drawback to the provision in the bill that accruals to the NBC will be paid to TSA 100 per cent,’’ he said.

The minister said that at the moment, 70 per cent of the fund accruing to NBC was paid to the TSA while the commission retained 30 per cent.

He said the case would be presented to the Ministry of Finance for advise.

The minister also raised concerns over the provision in the Bill which prescribed that broadband should be sold absolutely to buyers.

“Spectrum do not belong to the licensees but to the Federal Government which can be used either for broadcasting or telecommunication.

“Where it is recommended that it should be given out forever is wrong,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Bill, sponsored by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Olusegun Odebunmi, seeks to strengthen the NBC and make it more effective to regulate broadcasting.