The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has extended the shut down order imposed on AIT/Ray Power FM, Silverbird TV Network and 50 other broadcast stations.

On Friday, NBC Director-General, Malam Balarabe Ilelah, had announced the revocation of the licences of the stations over N2.6bn debt and ordered the affected stations to shut down within 24 hours.

However, many individuals and groups criticised the action of the commission.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had faulted NBC, saying although the commission claimed that the sanction had no political motives, the action was ill-timed and reckless.

Similarly, the Nigerian Guild of Editors expressed concern over the order to shut down the broadcast stations.

In a statement by its President, Mustapha Isah, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the NGE said the action, if not reversed, would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in a country where jobs were scarce.

However, the NBC in a statement on Saturday, said following intervention of Concerned Groups and visible concerted efforts by some defaulting Licensees to offset their debts, it had extended the deadline to 6PM on Tuesday August 23, 2022.

“This is to inform all the affected broadcast stations whose licenses were revoked and given 24 hours to pay all outstanding license fees that the National Broadcasting Commission has extended the period which all outstanding debts are to be paid from 24 hours to Wednesday August 23, 2022.”

“All affected broadcast Stations who fall to defray their debts on or before August 23, 2022 are directed to shut down by 12 am on August 24, 2022. This extension is due to the appeal by the affected Broadcast Stations, relevant stakeholders, public spirited Individuals and Organizations.”

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