The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has just approved the review of the National Broadcasting Code and the broadcasting laws to reflect stiffer penalties for violators of broadcasting regulations. President Buhari has also endorsed the implementation of reforms to bring to an end all forms of monopoly which are detrimental to the actualisation of the immense potential of the broadcast industry.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this news today, Thursday 10th October 2019 in Abuja while inaugurating the National Broadcasting Commission Reform Implementation Committee. Lai Mohammed stated that the President has also approved that intentional repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fines on a station should attract reasonable suspension of licenses.
The minister further explained that President Buhari has also approved the upgrade of any breach of political comments that relates to hate speeches and divisive comments to “Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code. “The recruitment of more monitoring staff for NBC has been put in place. At present, there are only about 200 staff monitoring about 1,000 radio and television stations, also, the deployment of adequate monitoring equipment and technologies for NBC have been duly provided”.
According to the minister, Buhari said that the reviewed code must also ensure the full Independence of the NBC from all political interference in the exercise of its regulatory powers, especially with respect to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting licenses. Lai Mohammed, therefore, charged that the reform implementation committee should carry out a thorough and proper job that will reposition the NBC as an effective regulator.