The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) revocation of 52 broadcast station licences as hasty.
A statement by the NUJ on Friday faulted the move, saying it is ill-timed.
“The decision today by the industry regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the Commission was ill-advised,” NUJ chief, National President, Chris Isiguzo, said in a statement.
“The affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billion since 2015.
“Although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, we insist that the action was ill-timed and reckless.
“It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences at this critical time of insecurity in the Country appears to be a decision taken without careful prior deliberation, consultation, or counsel.”
The NUJ believes in the face of economic hardship, the”large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence. We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a media blackout at this time.”
“We call on NBC to exercise more restraint on this issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation,” the union added.
Earlier in the day, NBC sanctioned the stations, citing their inability to renew their licences.
The broadcast regulator gave the affected media outlets “24 hours to shut down their operations” and also directed its offices across the country to “collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance”.
“In view of this development, the continued operation of the debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security,” NBC added, noting that the second tranche of defaulters will soon be released.
The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has inaugurated its steering committee ahead of its award ceremony.
Inaugurating the committee on Wednesday, the Chairman of BON, Mr John Ugbe, told members of the Steering Committee to ensure that they deliver the best award ceremony that will be to the admiration of all stakeholders in the broadcast industry.
The composition of the Steering Committee was approved by the 76th General Assembly of BON held in Abuja in March.
The committee elected Mr. Guy Murray Bruce of Silverbird and Mr. Bayo Awosemo of Arise Television as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.
Other members of the committee are Engr Okpanachi Stephen Moses – NTA, Mr Deji Balogun – Channels TV, Mr. Patrick Ugbe – HIT FM, Mrs. Chinyere Ukaegbu – Abuja Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Andah David Angbazo – FRCN, Dr. Busola Tejumola – MultiChoice, Mrs. Oladeinde Modupe – DAAR Communications Plc, Malam Ibrahim Ismaila Ahmed -KSMC, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose as ex-officio and Umar Usman Bello as the Secretary of the Committee.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Guy Bruce promised to serve and ensure effective coordination of the award committee. He called on BON members to take an active part in the award.
Speaking at the meeting, the Consultant to BON on the Award, Mr. Jenkins Alumona, MD/CEO, Strategic Outcomes Ltd promised to work effectively with the Steering Committee to stage an award ceremony that will become a reference point.
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Sunday attacked Babbangida in Yobe State. The incident, which caused many of the villagers to flee, is coming one month after the terrorists launched an assault on the community.
Although authorities are yet to confirm the latest attack on the headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area, a resident of the community, Audu Ali, told Channels Television on the phone that there was a heavy gun battle between the military and the suspected Boko Haram members.
Babbangida, which is located 50 kilometres away from Damaturu the state capital, was last attacked on August 25, 2021.
The military had recovered a Toyota Hilux from the attackers after the assault.
Sunday’s incident is one of the many attacks on communities in the North East state which has continued to suffer from onslaughts by Boko Haram terrorists.
The insurgents, who usually come in their large numbers, have also sacked some villages – including Geidam which is the hometown of the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba Alkali – hoisting their flags.
They have also attacked telecommunication facilities in the state.
Yobe is not the only state suffering from the insurgents’ attack.
They have also attacked telecommunication facilities and targeted power stations in Borno State.
On multiple occasions, they have vandalized power towers, cutting off many communities from the national grid.
In spite of these, Nigeria’s security forces and the Federal Government maintain that they are recording success in the fight against the terrorists.
According to the Nigerian Army, due to sustained onslaughts from troops, the insurgents are surrendering and embracing amnesty.
In August, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the Chief Bomb Expert of the terrorist group known as Musa Adamu a.k.a Mala Musa Abuja and his second in command, Usman Adamu a.k.a Abu Darda along with their families and followers, surrendered to the troops in Bama Local Government Area of the state.
He put the number of the surrendered insurgents at 335 fighters, 746 women and children including one of the abducted Chibok girls.
The calls for amnesty to the surrendered terrorists have also drawn widespread criticisms from many quarters.
Critics say the move may further embolden criminals, insisting that those displaced by the decade-long war should first be resettled.
“The first step after getting them is the resettlement of people now that the war is getting to an end or is almost ending,” Senator Ali Ndume from Borno South told Channels Television in August.
“Then, we talk about profiling, investigating, and interrogating those that have surrendered, ” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, added.
The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has reacted to the recent suspension of DAAR Communications by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), saying the move is not an option the regulatory body should have adopted.
The organisation through its Vice Chairman, Godfrey Ohuabunwa who was a guest on Channels Televisions News at 10, said there are other options available to address the issues raised.
He stressed that the sanction is not a good development, owing to the varying harassment journalists are faced with on a regular basis.
For us as a broadcast industry, we don’t think its a good development, the reason being that at this time, shutting down DAAR Communication is not the option.
We assume and we know that under international rules and engagement, as a regulator if there is an infraction by any of the broadcasters, I don’t think to shut down under this circumstance should be the action.
I believe that there are other options available to NBC to deal with this matter, they could have fined them or do other things, he added.
He called for the review of the NBC Act presently at the National Assembly because such sanctions deserve to be appealed.
But one thing this has brought to the fore is that it is high time that the NBC act is reviewed as we know it is presently at the National Assembly and I think that one of the things that should be taken cognisance of is that there should be room for appeal.
Because in any law, people have the opportunity to appeal, so if an infraction happens and a decision taken like this is hard.
In the last couple of years, the press and journalists have been cowed down in several ways, harassed.
NBC could have fined them as an option, shutting down is not an option. What do you gain by shutting down a TV station? he asked.
After successfully completing his two-year tenure as the chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Chairman of Channels Media Group, Mr. John Momoh, OON, has now handed over office to the elected BON Vice-chairman (and acting Chairman), Mr. Godfrey Ohabunwa.
John Momoh was elected BON Chairman in July 2016 in a keenly contested election during BON’s annual delegates’ conference to set a new record as the first private media owner to chair BON. Before the election, BON was traditionally headed by the DGs of Federal Government-owned media institutions. However, an amendment in the BON Constitution enabled a rotational system and elections into offices in 2016.
According to BON’s amended constitution, Mr. Momoh’s tenure was from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2018.
Upon officially assuming office in 2017, John Momoh brought his well-known reputation as a transformative industry pioneer to bear on the Organisation, and BON enjoyed several positive changes with him at the helm of affairs.
Some of these notable achievements include:
• Extensive free training of BON members. The number of trainings under his tenure is the most by a BON Chairman.
• Purchase of property to house the BON Secretariat. Mr. Momoh ensured that under his tenure, BON purchased its own permanent building in 2018, after 46 years of operating in rented apartments.
• Increased attendance by members at BON events and increase in membership. BON had 125 members as at January 1, 2017, which has increased to 143 as at December 2018. Notable among these new members are the two signal distributors in Nigeria.
• First time a BON Chairman would consistently host BON meetings -several CWC meetings, 68th, 69th and 70th General Assemblies, 17th AGM), thereby setting a new standard for BON in the running of the Organization and hosting of BON meetings.
• Pioneered and successfully launched a Broadcasters Hall of Fame to honour veterans in the Broadcast industry (including Christopher Kolade, Vincent Maduka, Anike Agbaje-Williams, Tom Adaba etc).
• Effectively galvanized BON TV members to work together to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup in conjunction with Kwese Free TV, earning BON members a record sum as revenue.
• Membership Debt significantly reduced by tens of millions, which had a significant positive impact on the BON Secretariat.
Apart from the above, Mr. Momoh tirelessly advocated for changes in the broadcast industry, leading to positive developments for all broadcasters including:
– Cancellation of NBC’s plan to shut down media houses over non-payment of fees
– Involvement of BON in the consideration of the digital switch-over during the Senate’s public hearing on the issue
– Stakeholders meeting between BON, Minister of Information and NBC leading to an improved relationship between the Regulator and BON; as well as a commitment to regularly meet to discuss issues
From the announcement of Mr. Momoh’s success at the BON polls, the reputation of BON was heightened and brought to the consciousness of the Nigerian and international public, leading to more international partnerships with the Organization. An example is the participation of international media in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates which were organized under the leadership of Mr. John Momoh.
In view of all these achievements, some BON members clamoured for Mr. Momoh to stay on as Chairman, a request which he unequivocally declined. In fact, no Broadcaster indicated interest in running for the position of BON Chairman when the Secretariat called for elections in September 2018; leaving the position vacant. Only the position of Vice-chairman of BON was contested at the September elections.
Mr Momoh successfully handed over office to the elected Vice-Chairman of BON on Friday, 18th January 2019, and BON has now announced that elections will be held in April 2019 to fill the position of Chairman.
BON was established in 1973, and today comprises over 140 members who collectively own over 250 radio and television stations in the country. BON’s vision is to foster a future-proof environment for radio, TV and to serve their audiences and contribute to the development of our society.
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 70TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND 17TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE BROADCASTING ORGANISATIONS OF NIGERIA (BON) HELD AT TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) held its 70th General Assembly and 17th Annual General Meeting with the theme:”Election Coverage and Responsible Journalism” at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on September 20, 2018, hosted by Channels Television.
The Chairman of Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria, Mr. John Momoh, OON in his welcome address, cautioned that ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ should be the beacon for media managers, editors, reporters, presenters and the whole media value chain. He explained that “responsibility” connotes objectivity, fairness, decorum, finesse, patriotism, sacrifice, balance, truth and trust, he recommended that all delegates consistently refer to one or all of the codes for journalists, including the Nigerian Media Code on Election Coverage, NBC Code on election reporting and the Global Journalistic Code.
He further pointed out that one of the articles in the code stipulates that “necessity is laid on the journalist, to present facts and figures at all time and at all cost, in a balanced and unbiased fashion, devoid of any colouration whatsoever.”
With the year 2019 just a few months away, and media houses counting down to the elections, he enjoined all to be responsible in the way and manner headlines are crafted, details are explained, inferences and similarities analyzed; and avoid giving an undue advantage in whatever manner to one party over the other. He emphasized that responsibility entails giving more time to verify a story in order to avoid misinforming the public and journalists must ensure that whatever facts and figures are gathered, are cross-checked, double-checked, triple-checked and reconfirmed before presenting such to the public for consumption. He reminded everyone that any misinformation by the media is always difficult to retrieve, and its effects could be damaging.
He called on all delegates to place the interest of the citizens above that of the politicians, and to live true to the role of the media as the watchdog of the society, and shun all rhetoric that is divisive and offensive in nature. He further enjoined all delegates to exhibit the highest sense of professionalism and stay away from compromise and partisanship in order to be empowered to speak the truth to power, ask the hard questions, reveal facts and stand by stories.
He ended his address by appealing to all delegates to strive to improve staff welfare and take home pay of journalists (and all staff) to help curb the menace of the “Brown Envelope Syndrome”. He warned that if staff welfare is not well taken care of, a compromise then becomes inevitable when a journalist is faced with the realities of the poor condition of service, particularly in an election year.
The Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), represented by the Secretary to the Commission/Legal Adviser, Mrs. Alheri Saidu gave the first goodwill message, she spoke on the importance of the Assembly which is at the period of intense political activities, she used the opportunity to remind all broadcasters that political broadcast and advertisement will be central to our broadcast activities during this period and members should observe the Electoral Acts as amended and the Nigerian Broadcast Code. She enjoined members to avoid the broadcast of hate speeches. She also appealed to BON members regarding the payment of licence fees. She noted that the process of DSO has been slowed down due to lack of fund but optimistic that it will be completed by December 2019.
Other goodwill messages were received from the representatives of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. Akin Akingbulu (Executive Director, Institute for Media and Society); President of RATTAWU, Comrade Kabir Garba Tsanni and the Country Director of BBC Media Action, Mr. Seamus Gallagher.
In his paper presentation on the theme titled: “Election Coverage and Responsible Journalism” Prof. Tonnie Iredia OON, implored Journalists to remember that elections are not events that occur in a day, but a process with interwoven segments; one of which is voting i.e. voting is only ONE segment ofthe election. He went on to break down the different segments in the election process. He also highlighted the different “administrators” in the electoral process (that is, INEC, Security agencies, Political Parties and Judiciary) and the powers they wield in determining the outcome of elections.
According to Prof. Iredia, during elections, journalists are expected to create a level playing field for all participants, ensure that coverage of political parties is not based on invitations only, give equal opportunities to all (not necessary equal time) and be bold enough to be adversarial when necessary. Each journalist must have the development of the Country as the overarching goal.
He encouraged media houses to ensure that all administrators in the electoral process are monitored and activities reported on from time to time, and not only during an election year or political broadcasts. As individuals, he requested journalists to refuse to be intimidated by the owners of their organizations, buttressing this with the example of Doctors who cannot be bullied into administering wrong medication solely because their board demanded the same of them.
He ended with a call to all journalists to remember the legacies of Nigeria’s forefathers and the fight against the military by journalists. He encouraged each to, defend Nigeria’s democracy through responsible election coverage; uphold the sovereignty of the people and the rule of law. Above all, journalists must respect majority rule but never neglect the rights of those in the minority.
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was represented by Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the Vice President on Political Matters. The Vice President sent his apologies to BON for not being able to attend the assembly as a result of an official national assignment to Delta State.
Declaring the Assembly open, the Vice President in his speech, said BON was strategically positioned as a major influencer of thoughts, ideas and public perceptions and added that the ability of the media to rightfully shape the narrative in national discourse will either erode or strengthen its influence as a tool for national development.
According to the Vice President, BON as a major stakeholder in the Nigerian project has the responsibility not only to uphold the ethics of journalism profession especially in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society such as Nigeria, but also to abide with ideals that will strengthen national identity and rejuvenation.
H e commended the Nigerian broadcast media which according to him, had grown in leaps and bound and has adapted to new technology, making it among the most vibrant not only in Africa but across the world, and the democracy being enjoyed today would not have been possible without the efforts of the media that have refused to be cowed.
T he Vice President concluded by stating that the media Fourth Estate of the Realm, remains the hope of the common man, and in an election year, the media should play a critical role of setting the agenda and reflecting the mood of the nation. He further added that the “the ideals we want to see in our nation will not happen overnight, “it is a process and the media is a veritable vehicle for driving the process”, and the Buhari Administration will continue to support the independence and freedom of the press in Nigeria.
The Assembly deliberated on issues presented to the meeting which affects the organisation and resolved as follows:
1. That the 2018 FIFA World Cup transmission was successfully executed although with defaulters from some members which is being examined.
2. That Zone A should conduct an election and inform the Secretariat of the date of the election.
3. That Zone B and D should conduct an election and submit the name of the winner to the Secretariat before or after the end of the Assembly. Zone D submitted Alhaji Ismail Sani, Chief Executive of Platinum Radio, Keffi as the new Chairman of Zone D.
4. That in the absence of Chairman, the Vice Chairman according to the Constitution as Amended, Article 16 (j): Vice Chairman which states that: “The Vice-Chairman shall in the absence of the Chairman perform the function of the Chairman as empowered by the provisions of the constitution. He shall also perform any other duty or duties assigned to him/her from time to time by the Chairman or the General Assembly.”
5. That the two candidates, Sir Godfrey Nnamdi Ohuabunwa, Multimesh Broadcasting Company and Mr. John Ugbe, Details Nigeria Limited who indicated interest were subjected to an election by the Assembly. The election was conducted and Sir Godfrey Nnamdi Ohuabunwa, Chief Executive Officer, Multimesh Broadcasting Company emerged as the winner with 34 votes against Mr. John Ugbe with 10 votes.
6. The 2017 Audited accounts were approved.
Conclusion The General Assembly expressed its appreciation to the management of Channels Television for successfully hosting the 70th General Assembly and 17th Annual General Meeting.
The next meeting to be hosted by the Multimesh Broadcasting Company is scheduled for Port-Harcourt. A date will be announced later. Communiqué Committee.
____________________ ______________________ JOHN IWARUE SNR. ADEOLA OLUMEYAN
The Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have released the names of political parties that will be participating in the 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.
According to the statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the NEDG, Mr Eddi Emesiri, the parties are Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).
The Vice Presidential debate will hold from 7 pm at the congress hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018, while the presidential debate will hold just over a month later, on Saturday, January 19, 2019.
The debates will be transmitted live on all BON member stations and its affiliates as well as live streaming on all social media platforms.
NEDG and BON had announced dates for the debates on November 22 at a press conference in Abuja.
According to them, the debate will focus on the issues that matter most to working families; restoring the economy, providing electricity, creating jobs, securing health care for every Nigerian, making and achieving excellence in every Nigerian school and ensuring safety and security for Nigerians.
The Nigerian Election Debate Group sets the format and rules of the debate, handles moderation, outlines the criteria for political party participation, ensures the objectivity of audiences and steers negotiations between broadcasters and the parties.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has overturned the sack of the Managing Directors of Rivers State television and radio stations.
The state governor rescinded his decision after intervention and plea from the Chairman of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh (OON), during a meeting with the governor on the sidelines of the General Assembly of BON in Portharcourt, the Rivers State Capital.
Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman, Channels Media Group, while pleading on behalf of the Directors explained that although their absence from the meeting is inexcusable, he believes the sacked MD’s must have learned their lessons.
Governor Wike in response said he believes erring officials deserve to be disciplined but because of the plea of the BON Chairman, he will temper justice with mercy.
The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria has again called for more investment in technology in the broadcast industry.
The Chairman of the organisation, Mr John Momoh, who is also the Chairman of the Channels Media Group, made the appeal on Tuesday during its 71st General Assembly holding in Portharcourt, the Rivers State Capital.
At a time when the media industry is going through several rapid changes and the digital space has led to a massive disruption/ development in various sectors, Mr Momoh believes that the broadcast industry has to continue to double its efforts so as not to become relegated to the background.
He said, “The digital age which we are in has led to a massive disruption in each sector of our business, and this has brought about a gradual shift in power – away from traditional studios and broadcasters, towards new and innovative content creators.
“Content creators who are now one-step closer to their audiences, and who now wield greater power, in determining what is served up by the media’’.
“It’s a wakeup call for us to re-examine our role as broadcasters, and discern the next step forward, in the complex space of the art of today’s broadcasting”.
Momoh has been at the forefront of Nigeria’s switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting and yet again, he stated that this will improve the nation’s economy.
It is believed that the switch has the capacity to boost sales of television sets and digital video recorders, leading to positive upstream benefits in terms of increased time spent watching TV which will, in turn, boost the economy.
Momoh says it will not only expand the nation’s broadcast space but will provide the opportunity to raise the bar in content creation.
Furthermore, he stressed the fact that in several years from now, regardless of what medium is being used for communication, what will remain important is the quality of content.
He, therefore, urged broadcast industry to continue to devise means of being closer to their audience especially by investing in technology, as well as people. “The one thing that will remain constant in the picture, is good content.
“What is changing is the way that businesses distribute content, and consumers access them, plus the nature of relationships all along the supply chain.
“The broadcast industry and the media landscape have changed irretrievably. Therefore, we must invest in technology, in people and in content development.
“The digitization process must be focused, and it’s rollout sustainable. We need to work together as a true progressive professional organisation, to drive the change we want to see. It’s either we change with the time, or we shall continue to be consigned to the slow world of analogue experience. We shouldn’t allow that to happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of the state who represented the governor called on broadcast organisations to ensure objectivity in the 2019 elections.
As the elections draw closer, the Chairman of the Channels Media Group had also assured Nigerians that himself, as well as the station, remains apolitical in all its dealings.
It is his last address as the Chairman of the BON.
The Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Chairman of the Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh has led other members of the group, to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where its 71st General Assembly will be taking place.
The team which arrived in Port Harcourt on Monday was received by the Deputy Governor of the State Ipalebo Harry-Banigo.
They were also taken to see some projects in the state.
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has advised media practitioners to be responsible in the discharge of their duties.
At its 70th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, the Chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh (OON), called all members of the media to reflect on how to serve the audience and the country.
Mr Momoh gave this advice on Thursday at the 70th General Assembly of BON in Abuja.
“Responsibility should be the beacon for media managers, editors, reporters, presenters and the whole media value chain,” Mr Momoh who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group said.
“Responsibility connotes objectivity, it connotes fairness, decorum, finance, partisan, patriotism, sacrifice, balance, truth and trust. I will recommend one or all of the following codes to journalists, the Nigerian Media Code on election coverage, the NBC Code on election reporting and the Global Journalistic Code.”
On his part, Veteran Broadcaster, Tony Iredia, said journalists must be committed to the truth and uphold the ethics of the profession.
“Are we following the ethical values of the profession? Ethical values are things we all know; decency, fairness, objectivity, and so on, but the most important of them is the truth,” he said.
This, he explained, is because the truth is an absolute defence to defamation.
He urged journalists who would be covering the election to bear in mind that election coverage is a special assignment.