Federal Govt warns off critics, unveils new broadcasting code

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed with acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba at the unveiling of the Broadcasting Code.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed with acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba at the unveiling of the Broadcasting Code.

THE Federal Government has said that it will not yield to blackmail by some stakeholders in the broadcast sector as it unveiled the new amendment to the 6th edition of the Broadcasting Code.

In Lagos on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the amended code was in the national interest and government would kickstart its implementation.

He noted that 6th edition and the amendments, remain the regulations for broadcasting in the Nigeria.

Mohammed faulted critics who believe that their business interests are superior to the national interest, and “have resorted to all kinds of blackmail, using hack writers.

“We remain unperturbed, because we are acting in the national interest.”

Mohammed noted that the broadcasting code is a dynamic document, and those who have issues about the amended code should present their views for considerations in subsequent amendments.

“This latest amendment is signed, sealed and delivered, and we are committed to making it work for the good of the country,” he said.

The minister said the amendments were necessitated by a presidential directive to look into the conduct of some broadcast stations during the 2019 elections and to strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in its regulatory roles.

Mohammed said the amendments are mostly in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising and anti-competitive behaviour.

He explained that provisions relating to exclusivity and monopoly in the code would boost local content and local industry as well as encourage open access to premium contents.

“The law on registration of Web Broadcasting grants the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can harm us as a nation.

“Such harms could be in the area of security, protection for minors, protection of human dignity, economic fraud, privacy,” he said.

The acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba commended the minister for implementing reforms in the sector, laudable intervention to assist practitioners as well as refocussing and repositioning the Digital Switch Over programme.

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