Lai Mohammed Orders Implementation Of 70% Local Content In Broadcasting

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, addressing a press conference in Lagos on December 30, 2019. Photo: Twitter- @FMICNigeria

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has issued a new regulation to compel the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to implement 70% local content in broadcasting.

This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday revealing the Minister’s new directives to NBC.

The statement which was signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister, Segun Adeyemi, also contained the new directive aimed at repositioning Nigeria’s broadcast industry, creating jobs, promoting local content, and boosting the advert industry.

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“Major highlights of the Minister’s directive include new regulations to compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers, in fulfillment of the regulatory requirements for 70% local content, rather than the current abuse of the rules which allow many loopholes for the production of such content in jurisdictions outside Nigeria,” the statement read in part.

This according to the Minister will empower local producers with proper funding and investment, enhance foreign collaborations, develop the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and ultimately lead to job creation.

The new regulation frowns against illegal and unpaid use of musical works by broadcast stations without payment of royalties. It also put an end to exclusivity in sporting rights in the country.

“For musical content, a new regulation will ensure that broadcasters are prevented from illegal and unpaid use of musical works without payment of the applicable license fees and/or royalties required by music rights owners.

“Similar provision will prohibit exclusivity of sporting rights in Nigeria, as a new regulation now mandates broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach and also maximise utilisation by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.”

The Minister concluded that this regulation will prevent the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets.

The new regulations are due to come into effect in this month of January.

Senate Seeks Enforcement Of Local Content Law In Oil And Gas Sector

 

The Senate Committee on Local Content says it is determined to clamp down on oil and gas companies who refuse to remit funds to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

The Senate Committee Chairman, Solomon Adeola, gave the warning on Saturday after a visit to three oil companies in Rivers State.

The committee members expressed satisfaction that majority of the staff in the companies are Nigerians, in fulfilment of the local content law.

They were, however, disappointed that the companies which have been operating in Nigeria for years are still almost totally foreign owned.

The lawmakers also expressed displeasure that none of the companies was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Going forward, the committee said the National Assembly will review the Local Content Law, expanding its scope to cover other industries such as telecomms, ICT, manufacturing and the extractive industries.

It also stated that the board has commissioned auditors to look into the accounts of oil and gas companies and fish out those defaulting in their payments.

2016 Budget Defence: EFCC, Health Ministry Ask For More Funding

EFCCThe Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed for more funding to help it carry out its mandate of checking financial crimes in the country.

This appeal was made by the chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the commission’s 2016 budget.

“I very much believe that even if you’re going to give us everything we have asked for, it will not be adequate but considering the situation we are, there is nothing we can do,” he said.

The EFCC Chairman was also questioned on the agency’s decision to investigate different sectors of the economy.

As work continues on the 2016 budget that is before the National Assembly, committees have been meeting with the representatives of the different arms of the executive to put finishing touches to the over 6 trillion naira budget.

The Minister of Health also brought this same appeal for more funding when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Health.

Prof. Isaac Adewole raised the issue of shortfall in the ministry’s budget.

“When we looked at the budget including submissions from the teaching hospitals, medical centres and agencies, it came down to 347 billion and we got only 335.7 which is about 10%.”

He also touched on the Zika virus that is becoming a global concern, “I want to say that Zika has been with since 1954. About 25% of Nigerians are positive to Zika virus but what has happened is that it has done nothing to us,” he said, while explaining the need for more action.

The Committee on Local Content also scrutinized the budget of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board while the Committee on Science and Technology is also holding its meeting with agencies under its committee.

A lot of the committees are still expected to appear before the 2016 budget would be presented to the House in plenary.

Software Institute Of Nigeria Calls For Growth In Industry

softwareNigeria needs to establish a one stop shop of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) retooling center if the Software Industry in Nigeria must be developed.

The former President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Uwaje, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Business Morning, said that the educational system has a lot of role to play if the industry would grow to the desired level.

He maintains that there is need to build the local content in the industry and that the youths should be encouraged to be innovative.

Local software industry is said not to be growing at the pace it ought to, at least when compared to that of other developing nations.

Nigeria’s Software Industry is said to be potentially a 6 billion dollar industry and can surpass the contributions from the oil industry, especially as the software industry is not a capital intensive sector.

However, the potentials that abound in the industry are yet to be tapped.