Independent Broadcasting Authority acting Director General Eustance Nkandu has given broadcasting stations a 10-day ultimatum to settle their outstanding annual fees or risk losing their licenses.
Speaking at a media briefing at mass media yesterday, Nkandu said IBA was concerned that some stations had not paid their license and annual fees.
“I wish to remind all licensees with outstanding license and annual fees that fees are due by 31 March 2017. Licensees who will not pay within the prescribed time frame risk having their licences suspended,” Nkandu warned.
“This is in accordance with section 22 (4) of the IBA amendment Act of 2010, which outlines license and annual fees as part of the licensing conditions and section 29 of the same Act mandates the Authority to suspend a broadcasting license in instances where the licensee fails to comply with license conditions or notices issued by the IBA.”
And Nkandu disclosed that in the last two quarters, the IBA granted 22 broadcast licenses totaling 153 licensed stations in the country.
“I am delighted to inform you that during the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, the IBA Broad granted nine radio licenses, 12 Content Service Provider Licenses (commonly known as TV licenses) a subscription management service license and two expansion permits for radio stations. Following the issuance of the new licenses, the number of television licenses in the country now stands at 43 and that of radio at 110 giving us a total of 153 licensed stations countrywide,” Nkandu said.
“In terms of the combined distribution of radio and television stations by province; Lusaka has the highest number of stations at 66 (28 radio and 39 TV) followed by Copperbelt at 16 (14 radio, 2 TV) Southern 15 radio, Eastern 12(11 radio, 1 TV), North-Western 11 (10 radio, 1 TV).The rest of the Provinces only have radio stations: Central 10, Western 7, Northern 7, Luapula 5 And Muchinga 4.”
Meanwhile Nkandu urged media houses to comply with ethical guidelines stipulated by the board.
“Furthermore, may I remind all license bearers, new and old, that the licenses have conditions which they must adhere to and that failure to do so may result in to suspension, cancellation and or revocation of the license as the IBA Act mandates,” said Nkandu.
And Nkandu urged licensed stations that had delayed commencement of broadcasting to expedite their operationalisation.