The Northern Broadcast Media Owners Association have asked the Nigerian Government to intervene and rescue them from shutting down operations due to a lack of revenue inflow caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
The group in a statement by its chairman, Dr Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, said COVID-19 had paralysed businesses across the world, which has affected advertising revenue stations used to rely on to stay operational.
"This may affect about 40 radio and television stations spread across the North-East, North-West and North-Central, who collectively employ about 40,000 personnel in diverse fields such as engineering, journalism, administration, marketing," Ramalan said.
He said broadcast stations, which are essential in disseminating information and sensitisation about COVID-19, are having to compete fiercely for the small advertising revenue available.
"Even before the advent of the COVID-19 scourge, NBMOA member stations have operated on meagre revenues due to the absence of big industry in the region as we all shared from a small basket of advertising revenue that occasionally trickled in from Lagos-based advertising agencies; alas, as it is, even agency revenue has been eclipsed by the effects of the COVID-19 on our national economy. We are unarguably in a precarious situation. Thus, we are in need of help.
"We have also been in the forefront of accentuating sensitisation campaigns against terrorism, banditry and kidnappings at all three tiers of administration in the country, as well as consistently broadcasting contents in support of publicity efforts of government on the COVID-19 at no cost.
"We remain committed to the time honoured function of informing and educating society, and keeping diverse audiences abreast of government policies at all times, more so during this most trying period that requires broader collective efforts in taming the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic from further harm to our citizens and to our nation’s socio-economic life," he concluded.