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NBC Suspends Licence Of DAAR Communicatios

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PRESS BRIEFING ON SUSPENSION OF LICENCE – DAAR COMMUNICATIONS, HELD TODAY 6TH JUNE, 2019 AT THE NBC HEADQUARTERS IN ABUJA.

Following monitoring reports and complaints from concerned Nigerians about the broadcast contents of Daar Communications Plc’s AIT/Raypower broadcast stations, the NBC have over the last 2 years summoned on several occasions management of the company to address issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower with the company, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.

In one of our meetings, held on 2nd June, 2017, the Commission expressed its disappointment with the way and manner Hate Speech, divisive and inciting comments are applied in discussion of national issues in breach of the provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcast Code.

Again, on 15th August, 2017, it became imperative to invite the company for yet another meeting on almost same issues. Furthermore, while addressing another meeting on 7th February, 2018 we highlighted issues of concern to the Commission which indicated that the company had been breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the broadcast Code. The company’s delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.

However, on October 18, 2018, the Commission was disturbed with the manner in which social media issues became part of the mainstream media unedited on AIT/Raypower, and was constrained to issue a generic letter to all broadcast stations on

the need to exercise caution in the use of user generated content from the social media knowing how volatile and misleading the social media has become. The management of Daar Communication Plc thereafter took to the social media to display our official correspondences.

Recently, the Commission’s monitoring reports on AIT/Raypower indicate the use of divisive comments accredited to the segment of “Kakaaki”, tagged, “Kakaaki Social”, where inciting comments like, “Nigeria is cursed, we declare independent state of Niger Delta”, “Nigeria irritates me”, “this country is gradually Islamizing” and other similar slogans are used without editorial control in breach of the broadcast Code. We were therefore constrained to issue Daar Communication letters of warning dated May 27th, 2019.

We also observed from monitoring reports that a documentary on the Presidential Election Tribunal, a pending election petition matter aired on AIT on Wednesday and Thursday, 22nd and 23rd May, 2019 without regard to the provisions of the Broadcast Code. The Commission, in line with its regulatory powers again cautioned AIT in another letter also dated 27th May, 2019.

However, instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms.

Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.

In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carry on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission. They don’t pay their licence fees as and when due.

Its broadcast is patently partisan and one sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity. The management of the Company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.

SHUT DOWN ORDER

Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Rapower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.

Consequently, after several meetings with management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June, 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11

Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

This decision is based on the provisions of Section 10 of the Third Schedule of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which states as follows:

(d) where in the opinion of the Commission the station has been used in a manner detrimental to national interest.

(g) where there is wilful or repeated failure to operate
substantially as set forth in the licence

(h), where there is wilful or repeated violation or wilful or repeated failure to observe any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorised by this Act or by a treaty ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(i), where there is violation of or failure to observe any cease and desist order issued by the Commission;

(k), where a provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code has been seriously breached; and

The SHUT DOWN order is until further notice.

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Business

Eliminating Gas Flare Remains Priority – NNPC

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Eliminating gas flare with a view to bequeathing a pollution-free environment to future generations of Nigerians remains a priority of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The corporation made this commitment at an event held today at the NNPC Towers to mark the World Environment Day.

A statement by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, quoted the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, as urging members of staff to maintain the NNPC business culture of “working not to harm the people or the environment”.

Addressing the management and staff on the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, “Air Pollution”, the GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ventures, Dr. Babatunde Adeniran, said NNPC had put in place a lot of measures to mitigate the impact of oil and gas exploration activities on the environment.

“As a corporate organization, NNPC is determined to reducing harmful emissions that can impact air quality and the well-being of God’s creatures in all aspects of our operations.

“We are committed to finding ways to fully commercialize our natural gas resources to eliminate gas flare in all existing future gas projects”, he said.

Dr Baru noted that air pollution was a major issue in today’s industrial world that needed all hands to be on deck to tackle.

Also speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker, Mr. Goni Ahmed, former Director General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall, commended the NNPC for championing gas-flare reduction initiatives that had helped Nigeria move from 2nd to 7th position in the global gas flare rating.

He expressed satisfaction with the measures the corporation had deployed to tackle environmental issues in the Oil and Gas Industry and lauded the GMD for ensuring availability of petroleum products across the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, the General Manager, Group Health, Safety, Environment & Quality (GHSEQ) Department, Mr. Hussaini Ali, said the programme offerred everyone the opportunity to contribute to the quality of the air we breathe, noting that the task of ensuring safer environment was a collective responsibility.

In the same vein, Manager, Operations, NNPC Health Manager Organisation (HMO), Dr. Getrude Bassey, advocated for strong individual participation in environmental management to avoid the negative effects of environmental pollution such as cancer, respiratory diseases, among others.

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Press Release

NBC / AIT Faceoff Resolved.

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Following the suspension of the Broadcast License of DAAR Communications Plc., owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM by the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ), the President of the Nigerian Press Organisation ( NPO ) comprising of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria ( BON ), The Nigerian Guild of Editors ( NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists ( NUJ), convened a meeting of all parties to resolve the issues in the national interest.

The meeting hosted at 8PM, on Sunday 9th of June, 2019, by elders and patrons of NPO, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua and Uncle Sam Amuka, had the following in attendance:
1. Ishaq Modibbo -Kawu – Director General & CEO, NBC;
2. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, DAAR Communications Plc;
3. Raymond Dokpesi, jnr, Chairman of the Board, DAAR Communications PLC;
4. Mr Tony Akiotu, GMD, DAAR Communications Plc;
5. Mrs Tosin Dokpesi , MD, AIT;
6. Barrister Donatus Anopuo – Company Secretary DAAR Communications PLC;
7. Uncle Sam Amuka, Publisher, VANGUARD Group;
8. Mallam Ismaila Isa, Patron NPAN and
9. Nduka Obaigbena, President NPAN and President NPO.
At the meeting the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) restated their commitments to freedom of expression and the constitutionally guaranteed role of the media under sections 22 and 39 to hold governments accountable, which states amongst others that the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media are to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in the 1999 constitution and ensure the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.
The NBC also raised concerns about the non-adherence of the DAAR Communications group (AIT/Ray Power) to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, despite repeated interactions on same; the NBC then 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.
DAAR Communications Plc. defended its position saying it gives its team freedom to make editorial commentary on issues of the day relying on Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of Expression, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference.
DAAR stated it had made some payments on account to the NBC but acknowledged that there were some defaults in the payment plan they submitted to the NBC, and explained that the defaults were due to decisions jointly reached at BON meetings by all broadcasters to engage and renegotiate the cost of license fees with 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.
After an exhaustive dialogue, all parties RESOLVED as follows:

1. DAAR Communications Plc. will work out a new realistic payment plan with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and ensure prompt payments in accordance with the new plan;
2. 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;
3. Following this NPO statement, The NBC will immediately lift the suspension of the broadcast license of DAAR Communications Plc;
4. DAAR Communications Plc. will withdraw its case in court, against the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and;
5. All parties will take necessary steps to work together to build confidence in the public interest.

Very Many Thanks!

Nduka Obaigbena
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY / ARISE Group,
President NPAN,
President , NPO.

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Press Release

NNPC Subsidiary , NGMC , Makes 12bn Profit

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The Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has announced a profit after tax of ₦12,476,685,000.00 (twelve billion, four hundred and seventy-six million, six hundred and eighty-five thousand naira) for the year ended 31 December, 2018.

This was disclosed at the company’s Annual General Meeting today in Abuja.

A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, quoted the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who is also the Chairman of the NGMC Board of Directors, as saying that the company’s performance was impressive considering the challenges it faced in its operations, notably pipeline vandalism.

The GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Seidu Mohammed, said the company would do everything to sustain the impressive performance, adding that: “We have to expand our portfolio, we are going into the West African market to position ourselves as the best marketer of gas in the sub region”.

He stated that NGMC had already signed contracts with some companies in the Republic of Benin.

On his part, Managing Director of NGMC, Engr. Mohammad Barau, attributed the company’s impressive performance to the support given to it by the NNPC Management which helped to resolve some of its challenges and motivated the company to embark on an aggressive drive for customers, resulting in increased earnings.

The company’s total revenue for the year 2018 was ₦243.630billion compared to ₦275.162billion for 2017.

The decline in revenue was attributed to the move by the electric power generating companies to purchase gas directly from gas producers since June 2018.

The NGMC is mainly engaged in sourcing, marketing and distribution of natural gas to major industrial users and utility companies in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.

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