The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, of amending the nation’s broadcasting code alone without consulting them.
The claim was made by the chairman of the NBC board, Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, August 13, 2020.
Following the 2019 national elections, some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) made observations to the Honourable Minister of Information at an FEC meeting about the divisive broadcasts engaged in by some broadcast media before, during and after the elections and the need to strengthen the operations of the NBC to avert such future occurrence.
This noble observation of Mr. President was unfortunately misunderstood by the Hon. Minister of Information.
Instead of studying and following the law, relevant rules and regulations, and direct the appropriate authorities as stipulated by the law to act on, he erroneously embarked on the review alone.
As a board, we have received and taken our time to compile the responses of numerous stakeholders which include our Nobel Laureate, activists, legal practitioners, broadcasters, investors, BON, Content Creators, Copyright experts and professional organisations. Most of them have adduced reasonable reasons against the proposed amendment.
The NBC was set up by law and there is an Act that guides its operations. The Honourable Minister, therefore, cannot usurp the powers of the board as clearly stated in the Act. Any such action by the Honourable Minister is illegal.
The board of the NBC wishes to make it quite clear that as long as it is in place, the only NB Code that we recognise and which we shall work within the setting of operating policies and standards for the NBC is the 6th edition of the NB code which was launched in 2019 in Kano.”
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