DG NBC, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu met with staff of the Commission at an early risers meeting today Wednesday 30th November, 2016.
Below is the text of his address to the staff:
On November 25th, 2016, I completed the first six months as Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
First please let’s observe a minute’s silence in memory of Mr. Joseph Agbo and Mr Kenneth Okoro, one a retired Zonal Director and the other an Assistant Director, still in service. May God rest their souls and may He give their families, friends and colleagues the fortitude to bear their passing.
When we met here six months ago, I promised that staff welfare would be at the top of our priorities. I sincerely hope that we have not disappointed you in that area. I cleared all subsisting staff claims that I met. We paid a mid year allowance and in pursuit of my pledge that every single member of staff in every directorate would attend a training program, We have kept the promise. The last set of members of staff will commence their training in the next few days. Next year, we would have a more systematized training schedule for every single member of staff.
We have commenced the review of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. We hope to conclude that early next year. We recently concluded a Content Financing Workshop in Lagos, Enugu and Kano. We have held a national summit on Broadcasting Content and National Security; held our annual lecture which brought a man of outstanding credibility in the person of Professor Attahiru Jega and AFRICAST 2016, was widely acclaimed for organization, attendance and participation. We are preparing a workshop on Hate Speech, which is unprecedented in Nigeria. The Jos pilot DSO is functioning while plans are at an advanced stage to launch the Abuja DSO. It will offer thirty television channels here and would be the commencement of the switch off of analogue television in Nigeria.
Pinnacle Communications Limited withdrew its case against NBC from court. They were appointed the signal carriers for Abuja and have installed a state-of-the-art transmission system. The STB manufacturers have production lines around the country and channel owners have been appointed.
Nigeria’s DSO transition and our preparations have become acclaimed. And we are being asked to address conferences around Africa to exchange experiences. Two weeks ago in Cape Town, Uganda was requesting our cooperation and are looking forward to getting our STB manufacturers to serve the Ugandan TV market. We believe that the nation-wide DSO will be a major financial and technical challenge but we believe that all of us working together along with the state and federal governments as well as other stakeholders should be able to deliver by the 2017 deadline. It is important to point out that President Muhammadu Buhari recognizes the importance of the DSO and the positive impact it can have on the digital economy in Nigeria, especially in terms of creation of jobs hinged upon the talent of Nigeria’s young people. That explains why he decided that money taken into recovery be released to the NBC to facilitate the DSO process. That is a massive vote of confidence in the work we all collectively do here at the NBC.
A major challenge that faces us today is that members of staff have not received three months salaries. Everyone here knows that the issue of salaries is beyond the purview of the management of NBC. We are making all the efforts and reaching all the necessary people to be able to break the logjam. The problem arose because releases for salaries in the Third Quarter fell far short of what was expected. There are steps being taken to remedy the situation. Let me assure you that the Federal Government is aware of the situation and doing everything possible to solve this problem. I want to assure you that we are committed to the welfare of members of staff and it will continue to be at the top of all that we do as a Commission during my tenure as Director General. In the six months that I have been at the helms of affairs here, I have visited the Jos, Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kaduna and Benin City and Enugu Zonal offices. I have also seen our state offices in Ilorin and Calabar, while I have addressed a conference in Kano. I still have to see the zonal offices in Uyo, Sokoto and Maiduguri, which we re-opened as part of our vote of confidence in the security situation in Borno state. I will certainly go to these places as well as see as many of the state offices soon as possible. We will eventually open up other state offices where we don’t have them at the moment, so as to be on ground all over Nigeria. This is imperative because television and broadcasting in general will change dramatically, when we conclude the digital switchover in our country.
I have met very committed and hardworking members of staff here and over the past six months I have also got to know you better, individually and collectively. I hope you would work even harder to help us build our Commission. I do not possess a magic wand, but I am committed to providing the leadership that will give the ambience for all members of staff to flourish and accomplish their dreams. PLEASE feel free at all times to approach me, about your work, our work and even your personal issues. Let us not create cliques; let us fight against gossip and damaging rumor. These negative tendencies destroy institutions. We will always endeavor to run a transparent and open institution, where all of us can contribute to building our Commission and by extension, contributing to building a better Nigeria.
There are many dreams that I nurse for the growth of this remarkable institution of ours, but they would be achieved only if you buy into the vision. By the end of the year, especially after concluding successfully the Abuja DSO, we would begin to unfurl these dreams for discussion by all of us. I want to thank you all for the cooperation that I have received over the past six months as the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission. I hope you would continue to offer the same level of support and cooperation, not just to me, but also the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He was the one that appointed me in the first place. He believed that we can build NBC into becoming one of the best regulatory institutions in Africa. Let us work collectively to achieve that presidential directive. Thanks for listening to me. PLEASE feel free to ask me questions.