Buhari directs EFCC to release N10b recovered fund to NBC

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to release the N10 billion recovered loot to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

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The fund was part of the proceeds from the sales of spectrum made by the past administration which was diverted.

NBC Director General, Mr. Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, revealed this Thursday while briefing Journalists in Abuja on the forthcoming International Conference for African Broadcasters (AFRICAST) which is expected to be attended by more than 700 people from the continent.

Kawu noted the agency is already processing the release of the money, which he said will be committed into the country’s digitalization process.

He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has gracious approved that the N10 billion be returned to NBC so that we can use it for digital transmission process.

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“The money will be used as part of what we have being dong so far, I would not be letting out the secret if I tell you that money that was taking from the account of NBC into the EFCC recovery account.”

He also assured that going by the level of work, the country will meet up with the Digital Switch Over (DSO) 2017 deadline.

“I am optimistic that we are going to achieve the 2016 digital switch over deadline.

“Two or three weeks ago, the president was in United Nations when he met the captains of American industry, he did say something that Nigeria was willing to use digital revolution as a major starting point for kick starting a revolutional approach to employment in our country, that includes digital broadcasting.

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“So at the very top level, the president and the people around him, understand that this is a very important process that we need to achieve.”

On the coming 2016 AFRICAST, he said “We are thinking about a new future for AFTICAST, we plan to make it bigger and better.”

He also noted that there are plans on ground to make it a yearly activity instead of the current biennial. we want Afriast to be a permanent industry activity on the global calendar. We also expect stronger and more visible-buy in into the AFRICAST, by the industry.

On the possible financial benefit to the country, Kawu said “sometime when we talk about the benefit that Nigwria is expecting from the programme, he said sometimes, you don’t quantify everything in terms of Naira and kobo. If you are looking for bottom line every time, you might miss the critical point.

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But seriously, it is also an opportunity for networking and this will count in terms of procurement and possibilities of training and so many intangible that can help to develop our industry so it is not just about the money that is coming in, but about long term, short term and medium term possibilities, for broadcasting development in Nigeria and Africa.”

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