The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has extended the deadline to shut down broadcast stations whose licenses were revoked.

On Friday, NBC revoked the licenses of African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird Television (STV), and 50 other television and radio stations over mounting debt.

According to Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, director-general of the commission, the stations affected are indebted to the tune of N2 billion.

The commission had directed the stations to shut down operations within 24 hours.

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But in another statement on Saturday, the commission said it has extended the shutdown to Tuesday, August 23.

Ilelah said the decision was motivated by the “intervention of concerned groups” and “visible” efforts by some of the defaulting stations to clear their arrears.

“Following intervention of concerned groups and visible concerted efforts by some defaulting Licensees to offset their debts, the National Broadcasting Commission hereby serves this notice of an extension of the deadline to shut down to 6.00 PM on Tuesday, August 23, 2022,” the statement reads.

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Criticisms have trailed the decision of NBC to shut down the stations, with the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) noting that the move will deprive many Nigerians of crucial information, adding that many will wallow in ignorance.

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) had said the development will increase the risk of fake news consumption.

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