PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A BROADCAST LICENCE
The procedure for obtaining a broadcast Licence as stipulated by the National Broadcasting Commission Act No. 38 of 1992 (as amended) is as follows:
1. A prospective applicant must have a limited liability company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Its article of memorandum of association must include Broadcasting.
Note: Section 10 of the NBC Act disqualifies religious organisations and political parties from the grant of a broadcast license.
2. The applying company will write to the Commission seeking approval to purchase a set of application forms, indicating the kind of service and location(s) intended.
3. Upon receiving approval, the Company may then purchase a set of application forms including a copy of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and other publications that would provide an insight into broadcasting in Nigeria, at the cost of fifty thousand naira only (N50,000) from any of the Commission's offices across the Nigeria.
4. The set of forms purchased should then be completed and returned to the office of the Director General with the following:
A. Certificate of Incorporation
B. Certified copy of the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association
C. An Engineering design of systems including feasibility study
D. A letter of undertaking in accordance with section 9 (I) (d) of the NBC Act No. 38 of 1992 (as amended).
E. A letter of reference from the Company’s Bankers.
5. The application is processed by the Commission, recommended through the Honourable Minister of Information, to the President and Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for further consideration.
6. Upon approval, the successful applicant is expected to pay the prescribed license fee and sign a license agreement before being assigned an appropriate frequency.
7. Currently, a licence life span is five (5) years renewable. A licence however lapses and stands revoked if not utilised within two (2) years of issuance
8. WARNING: It is illegal for any person to operate or use any apparatus or premises for the transmission of sound or vision by cable, television, radio, satellite or any other medium of broadcast from anywhere in Nigeria, without a license. Note further that obtaining or submitting a license application does not confer on the applicant the right to acquire, operate or use such transmission equipment without the permission of the National Broadcasting Commission. Contravening this warning shall lead to the forfeiture of such equipment to the Federal Government; and the Commission will not hesitate to confiscate them.
9. The Commission, however, assures the public of its preparedness to facilitate applications through laid down procedure.
SCHEDULE OF LICENSE FEES
After the licence is granted, the Company would be required to pay licence fee for an initial term of five years in the first instance, subject to renewal. The licence fee for an initial term of five years is as follows:
1.1 CATEGORY A: Any location in the FCT, Lagos and Port Harcourt: Radio - N20million, Open TV - N15million,
Cable - N10million.
1.2 CATEGORY B: Any location in all other states: Radio - N15million, Open TV - N11.25million, Cable - N7.5million
2. Public/Government Stations: N5million for 5 years or N1million per Television or Radio Channel per annum for 5 years
3. Renewal fee for Cable – Satellite Television (MMDS):
a) Category A: FCT, LAGOS and PORT HARCOURT = N5Million for Five years
b) CATEGORY B: Any location in all other states: N4million for 5 years
4. Direct Broadcast Satellite: (Single Channel): New and Renewal: N10million for 5 years.
5. Direct-to-Home (DTH) (Multichannel) New: N25million for 5 years Renewal: N50million for 5 years (with effect from May 19, 2005).
6 Dealer (Wholesaler): N120,000.00 per annum
7. Importer (Wholesaler): N120,000.00 per annum
8. Retailer N30,000.00 per annum
9. Others: % of income: 2½ of income Application form: N50,000.00 per set In considering an application for a broadcast licence under the NBC Act, the Commission must certify that the applicant: Is a body corporate registered under the Companies and Allied matters Act or a station owned, established or operated by the Federal, State or Local Government Can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that he is not applying on behalf of any foreign interest Can comply with the objectives of the National Mass Communication Policy as is applicable to the electronic media, that is radio and television Can give an understanding that the licenced station shall be used to promote National interest, unity and cohesion and that it shall not be used to offend the religious sensibilities or promote ethnicity, sectionalism, hatred and disaffection among the people. LOCAL PROGRAMME CONTENT
Every licensee is required to adhere to a minimum of 60% local broadcast content for open television and 80% local broadcast content for radio. The cable/satellite retransmission stations are mandated to reflect a minimum of 20% local content in their programming.
RENEWAL OF A LICENCE
An application for the renewal of a licence shall be made to the Commission within a period of six months, before the expiration of the licence. For avoidance of doubt, the airwaves are held in trust for the public; therefore, the licensee is accountable to the public through the Commission. Thus a public hearing may be organised, as part of the licensing renewal procedure, for the public assessment of affected broadcast station.
In applying for the renewal of a licence, the applicant shall;
1. Clear all outstanding financial and administrative obligations to the Commission.
2. It shall submit to the Director-General, NBC, through the Commissions Zonal Director in the area of operation, copies of his application.
3. The application shall include:
• A detailed report of the stations faithfulness to its statements of intent in the original application form for the expiring licence, in accordance with the second schedule of the NBC Decree No 38 of 1992.
• A report of its compliance with the following:-
a. The relevant provisions of the 3rd schedule of the NBC Act 38 of 1992 such as submissions of quarterly schedules accompanied by synopses of programme listed.
b. Keeping of daily station logbooks for transmitted programmes, transmitter output power and radiating frequencies.
c. Making available for inspection by the staff of the Commission, its broadcast facilities including equipment and station log book.
d. Other rules and regulations issued from time to time by the NBC statement of accounts for the period under review. Completed application forms for renewal of the licence accompanied by a feasibility report for the renewal period sought.