The National Broadcasting Commission has been accused of illegally collecting renewal fee of N2b from Multi choice Nigeria for the renewal of its Direct –To Home television license.
It was alleged that the company in an effort through the back door to make the GO-TV the third signal distributor in the digitization program of the Nigerian Government so as not to go through the two legally approved , that is , Pinnacle Communications or ITS platforms which are the official signal carriers for Nigerian Digitisation project, did the payment.
The allegation similarly include the NBC Director General receiving N500m from the company.
Solacebase gathered that the N2b which was paid about two weeks ago led to summoning of an emergency meeting of the NBC board last week.
A reliable source informed Solacebase that the board Chairman Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis ordered return of the N2b which was done yesterday, Monday to the company.
Several calls put to the NBC DG Ishaq Modibbo Kawu by this newspaper was not successful as it cannot be reached.
However a source at the commission informed Solacebase that there was no basis for the allegation as the true position was that, NBC wrote to Multichoice Nigeria in January 2018 of a decision not to renew its license which will expire in March 2019.
The source said the board decision was in line with the white paper of the Nigerian Government, noting that even with this the company went ahead to pay the N2b into NBC account for the renewal of the license which ideally must be paid six months to the expiration of the license.
“You see normally whenever an issued license will expire, the payment for such is done six months before the expiration, “said the source.
Efforts to get a reaction from Multichoice proved abortive as a contact in the Kano office said they cannot comment on the issue but rather the headquarters of the company in Lagos. However the Communication department of the company did not reply to an email sent by our Correspondent.
Meanwhile Solacebase was informed also that the commission is under the searchlight of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
This newspaper called the Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa who said she was about going into a meeting but requested our Correspondent to call back after one hour. After the duration of the agreed period of one hour, her phone line was engaged as at the time of filing this report.