The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has received the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) reform implementation committee report, vowing to sanitise the internet and web broadcasting in the country.
Receiving the report from the committee headed by Prof. Armstrong Idachaba who is also a director at the NBC, the minister expressed his satisfaction by the quality of the report, saying that the report would revolutionize the NBC in several ways.
The minister, therefore, directed the NBC leadership to come out with fresh regulations that would promote the local broadcast industry and protect the Nigerian broadcast industry from monopolistic tendencies.
“These regulations are also in the area of advertising tariffs and production of advertisements in Nigeria. The regulations will also ensure that all anti-competitive behaviors are deterred and sanctioned where they occur,” he said.
Mohammed also directed the NBC to come up with regulations for the broadcast of content on the Internet and the web, stressing that the regulations must not in any way gag the press or hinder their universal role of providing valuable information to the citizenry.
“The regulations shall however ensure that those who provide broadcast services on the Internet do so with responsibility,” he added.
“Some 27 years into the life of the NBC, there is the need to re-evaluate the applicability of some of its laws. Following the implementation framework presented to me, I will immediately commence the process of forwarding an Executive Bill for consideration of the Federal Executive Council and further legislative action.
“The Bill will address the existing lacuna in the areas of the regulation of the Internet, the ongoing Digital Switch Over, Digital Access Fee, and insulation of the regulator from partisan politics.
“An important aspect of Mr. President’s approval for the reform of the NBC is in the area of the welfare of staff.
“I will therefore be directing the NBC to commence work on an enhanced welfare package for the staffers of the Commission, with a view to implementing such as soon as possible
“In this age of technology and the Internet of Things, a responsible and respectable broadcast industry regulator must be properly equipped.
“We shall therefore commence the process for the acquisition of modern broadcast equipment for the Commission for the purpose of monitoring and enforcement.
“Similarly, government shall commence the process of beefing up the material, training and manpower needs of the Commission,” Mohammed emphasised.