The Northern Broadcast Media Owners Association (NBMOA) has called on the Chairman and Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to submit to the inputs by the Federal Ministry of Information in respect of the controversial 6th amendment of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code (NB Code) and work with all stakeholders to further review the grey areas in the Code in no distant future.
Chairman NBMOA, Alh (Dr) Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, stated this while commending President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the Ag Director General of NBC for the revolutionary and positive clauses introduced in the 6th edition of the NBC Code and the for the growth and development of broadcasting in line with global standards, and pledged to cooperate with the NBC Ag DG for the full Implementation of the NB Code.
It would be recalled that the Board of the NBC has rejected the controversial 6th amendment of the NB Code which among other things, imposes a fine of N5 million on individuals and broadcast stations ‘guilty’ of hate speech.
It would also be recalled that the NBC had on Thursday, fined Nigeria Info 99.3FM, the station which recently interviewed former Central Bank deputy governor, Obadiah Mailafia N5 million for Hate Speech.
The NBMOA said, “subject to the provision of the NBC Act, the Minister may give the Commission directives of general character relating to particular matters with regards to the exercise by the Commission to its functions, and it shall be the duty of the Commission to comply with such directives.
The NBMOA Chairman commended the revolutionary steps in creating the Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) Act intended for public benefit free from political and commercial interference, which “shall derive its funding from public funds, that is, first line charge of the federation account, corporate and individual donations and grants by Nigerian entities, among others.”
NBMOA also requests for review of Section 15.2.2 on sanctions for an acceptable process that will allow for judicial transparency in the sanctioning procedures, while adopting a two layer level of implementation and imposition of sanctions like the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), which is also a regulatory body under the same Federal Ministry of Information.
Dr. Ramalan however appeals to the NBC to temper justice with mercy by waiving the fine of N5m imposed on Nigeria Info as a first offender under the new Code.
The NBMOA further calls on Multichoice Nigeria to reconsider its seeming policy of marginalization of northern based TV channels by hosting some indigenous northern private and public TV and radio channels on DSTV and GOTV platform.