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Nigeria: Govt Insists On Enforcement of New NBC Code

Abuja — The federal government yesterday insisted on the implementation of the recent amendment to the sixth edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), saying it was in the best interest of the country.

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this at the NBC’s 28th anniversary and sixth annual lecture in Abuja.

The amendment, which has attracted controversies, prohibited exclusivity of sporting rights and raised the fine for hate speech to N5million.

It caused a disagreement between the commission’s acting Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba; and the chairman of the commission’s board, Ikra Bilbis, who is supporting further review to accommodate concerns raised by stakeholders.

But Mohammed said government’s expectation was that the ongoing reforms, including the amendment of the code, would revolutionise the nation’s broadcasting industry.

He explained that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), led by President Muhammadu Buhari supported the amendments after a review of the 2019 general elections.

He said Buhari decided to approve the recommendations in order to reposition the NBC.

The minister explained, “The approval necessitated some amendments in the Code and the Act (of NBC).

“The amendments are mostly in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising and anti-competitive behaviour.