The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has said that the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) fulfilled all necessary obligations required for the issuance of a licence for the establishment of a radio station.
In a statement made available to Blueprint in Abuja Sunday, the commission said a letter of provisional approval dated September 28, 2018, was issued to the NCNE, with a five-year duration, which is expected to run from October 8, 2018 to October 8, 2023.
The NBC further said that the station’s programmes, which shall be purely educational, are designed to cater for the interest of migrant fishermen, herders, hunters, farmers, and migrants and that “it is a misrepresentation for any person, or organization to imply that the licensed station was just for a particular group”.
The statement reads in part: “The Commission is reacting to the media controversy over the license granted to the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) for the establishment of a radio station to operate on the AM band.
“The NCNE duly applied for broadcast license, in furtherance of its objectives to develop and maintain nomadic education outreach programmes, including electronically mediated ones. The letter of provisional approval dated September 28th, 2018, was issued to the National Commission for Nomadic Education. The duration of the license is from October 8th, 2018 to October 8th, 2023.
“The Commission wishes to state that similar educational broadcast licences were issued to institutions of higher learning and other Governmental institutions with comparable needs, such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria, The Federal Road safety Commission, and related institutions.
“Specifically, the Commission enjoins broadcasting stations to take special note of the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which emphasize peace and national integration. There is section 3.1.2, which requires that ‘materials likely to encourage or incite to the Commission of a crime or lead to public disorder shall not be broadcast.’
“Similarly section 5.5.5 of the Code prescribes that: ‘A station shall not broadcast divisive rhetoric that threatens and compromises the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.’ While upholding professionalism and observing global best practices, stations are further advised to treat potentially divisive issues with tact and sensitivity.
“The Commission therefore reiterates that broadcast organizations are expected to exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, rights or supporters as highlighted in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”