Lai Mohammed faults critics of NBC Code amendments

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Lai Mohammed faults critics of amended broadcasting code

THE Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has faulted the criticisms, fears and attacks on him over the ammended 6th edition of the National Broadcasting Code.

Mohammed, who was a guest on an NTA Program on Tuesday, said the amendment was well intentioned as the repositioning of the broadcast industry will benefit stakeholders and practitioners.

He said: “It is unfortunate that even those who would benefit in the new regime have been so carried away and confused by critics of the amended code that they are also attacking us.”

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, the amended code introduces new rules and regulations on online broadcasting, local contents, production of advertising for local goods and services, music, acquisition of sports rights, exclusivity and national emergencies.

Lai Mohammed said the government rejigged the code to stop monopoly and boost local contents because, “anywhere you have monopoly and exclusivity, growth is hampered particularly as it relates to local contents.

“We said, henceforth, you cannot go and buy a (TV) series or opera or rights for sports and refuse to sell to Nigerians. 

“For instance, if you buy Premier League, and a small operator approaches you to resell, you must resell.

“We will not dictate the price at which you are going to resell but you must resell at a price to be agreed by both parties.

“It is only in Africa that you have exclusivity and monopoly of contents as a business model.

“In the UK, you watch Premier League on any channel.”

He explained that the code ensures that when an advertiser spends about $1 million promoting foreign league, the advertiser must also invest 30 per cent of the $1 million in promoting  local league.

Also, the code ensures that, films, music, advertisement and television series meant for consumption by Nigerians must be made in Nigeria. 

“With the amended code, you cannot make your advertisement, films or reality show outside Nigeria and bring it to play on our airwaves,” he said.

He said the code states that if an advertiser owes a tv station money, the advertiser cannot place adverts on another channel without offsetting the indebtedness.

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