It was a big shock to residents of Lagos to see that they would have to pay for using radio and television in their homes, offices and shops.
In one of the notices seen in Surulere, residents have been asked to comply with the new guidelines or face legal action. The post elicited reactions, with many people saying that the law has been in existence for years in some areas.
A social media post shows a notice by Surulere local government in Lagos re-introducing radio and television licenses to drive the council’s internally generated revenue.
This however did not go down well with the residents who believe the imposition of such fee is just to extort and place financial burden on them at the expense of generating revenue for the state.
The post on Twitter with the handle @AnuoluwapoSis said, “They said we should be paying using television.”
The notice telling residents to pay for permit and a local government official we gathered confirmed this.
The post shows that the Local government has warned residents to pay for television/or radio sets or face legal consequences and risk their properties being sealed off.
According to reports, Taiwo Adeniyi, whose phone numbers were listed on the notice, noted that the directive is in line with a Lagos State by-law which says that residents in such areas are required to pay for the use of appliances like televisions, radios and others. Adeniyi said individuals are expected to pay the sum of N1,250 yearly based on the home appliance type. He stated that despite the bye-law being stopped in 2015, it is revisited to generate funds for the local government and the state.
He asked people to visit the local government for clarification on the issue. A guideline by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Section 4.3 on short-range devices says users of Short Range Devices are not required by law to get a license but that such devices will need necessary permits by the Commission to ensure it works within the acceptable range.
The requirement by NCC shows that many of the payments are made majorly by manufacturers or importers. Nigerians react to the new TV license regime Social media users reacted to the Twitter post, saying that the practice has existed in some state local governments for many years.
One said: “Something that has been going on in Ikorodu for 7 years upwards now you’ll pay for using TV/Radio & Fan”.
Another responded: “Wetin be this one again? Na every opportunity to cash out, these people want o. Thank God I escaped Lagos.”
“Why would Sanwo-Olu who is yet to adequately provide basic amenities in Lagos State reintroduces this kind of nonsense? Is Lagos not rich enough to start thinking of extorting poor residents amidst this harsh economy”.
Another aggrieved resident told Metropolix Online that “It’s a gimmick and strategy to raise money for their campaigns”.
However, a call to the phone number (08023049258) on the license was picked by one Taiwo Adeniyi who said it’s compulsory for residents to pay for using radios and televisions.
“Yes it’s true and compulsory to pay for radios and televisions used by residents, though it varies from one local government to another.
“I’m very sure you’re not hearing this for the first time. It’s been on for long and that is to add to the state IGR”. He explained.