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Minister of Information tells NBC to enlighten public on broadcasting code, check violations of stations

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris has called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to enlighten the public on its functions and check violations of the broadcasting code by media stations.

Idris made the call during a one-day working visit to the NBC’s headquarters in Abuja.

“I don’t believe that NBC is all about sanctions. Each time NBC is on, the news is about a station committing one infraction or the other. But I think beyond that, we need to look from within. We need a lot of public enlightenment. On this, I think public communication in this regard is a bit low,” said the information minister.

Mr Idris added, “You need to up it so that people will understand further what the role of NBC is. This is because members of the public see NBC only when there is a sanction. I think it is better for NBC to step up its public engagement for the public to understand that the commission is not all about sanctions but also about its capacity to help the industry grow and broadcasters reach their potential.”

Mr Idris said the current moves to change the act establishing the NBC at the National Assembly were commendable.

“When the commission was established, certain things were not taken into consideration, thus the need to change the act,” the minister said.

He expressed satisfaction with the commission’s efforts to host the AFRICAST later in the month.

Responding, NBC director-general Balarabe Ilelah said the commission has 28 state offices and 10 zonal offices with 419 staff members. The commission, he said, is monitoring over 777 stations.

“Out of the number, 609 are radio stations, and 168 are television stations. During our monitoring activities, a total of 3,312 warnings were issued in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2022 and 2023. In 2022, a total of 125 stations were penalised,” Mr Ilelah explained.

He added, “In 2023, a total of 1,238 warnings were given, while during the same year, 62 stations were penalised. On digital switch-over, the commission is determined to work on the simultaneous delivery of Nigeria to the life-changing experience of digital broadcasting using SIMULCRYPT.

“Against this background, NBC has facilitated the signing of an agreement between ITS and NTA-Star Nigeria to actualising this in the earliest possible time.”

The NBC boss said the debt profile of broadcasters is over three billion naira.

(NAN)

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