President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) Mustapha Isa, has said the letter containing a directive from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on reporting of terrorist attacks in the country was vague.
The NGE President disclosed this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
“My worry about that letter is that it is vague. When you say that don’t give details of security incidents, how detailed are the details? Is NBC saying for instance if there is a kidnap in a school, we shouldn’t report the name of the school, the number of students kidnapped, and the actions of security agents to rescue them?
“So a lot of things are in that letter that we don’t really understand.
“The media is a marketplace of ideas; some can speak for or against an idea. One thing that is clear is that the media will never promote violence.
“I think we need more clarity from NBC as regards that letter.”
Isa stressed that the motive behind the letter remains unclear because it states that it is a caution, but it still went ahead to list what should not be done.
He added that he is against ethnic profiling of criminals but the media will not cease to report incidents as they occur.
“I am against ethnic profiling of criminals. The media will always be patriotic. The media will not glamorise insurgency or kidnapping.
“We are in the business of reporting events, the media doesn’t create events,” Isa stressed.
NBC’s Call For Caution
NBC’s letter dated July 7 had called for caution in reportage of terrorist attacks in the country.
The letter titled, ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution’, was signed by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Ilelah.
It asked stations to stop “glamourising the activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits.”
It also added that “While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution.
According to the NBC, “Some of the topics also have ethnological coating thereby, pitching one section of the country against the other and leaving Nigerians in daily hysteria.
“Guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.”
She tasked the media not to give “details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardise the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Thursday suspended the operating licence of DAAR Communications PLC until further notice.
The commission announced the decision at a news briefing in Abuja, the nations capital stating alleged inability to pay the license renewal fees, hate speeches, as part of the reasons for the suspension.
Daar Communications Plc is the parent company of Africa Independent Television (AIT), and Ray Power 100.5 FM (in Abuja and Lagos)
Read full statement below…
Following monitoring reports and complaints from concerned Nigerians about the broadcast contents of Daar Communications Plc AIT/Raypower broadcast stations, the NBC have over the last 2 years summoned on several occasions management of the company to address issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower with the company, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.
In one of our meetings, held on 2nd June 2017, the Commission expressed its disappointment with the way and manner Hate Speech, divisive and inciting comments are applied in the discussion of national issues in breach of the provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcast Code.
Again, on 15th August 2017, it became imperative to invite the company for yet another meeting on almost the same issues. Furthermore, while addressing another meeting on 7th February 2018 we highlighted issues of concern to the Commission which indicated that the company had been breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the Broadcast Code. The companys delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.
However, on October 18, 2018, the Commission was disturbed with the manner in which social media issues became part of the mainstream media unedited on AIT/Raypower, and was constrained to issue a generic letter to all broadcast stations on
The need to exercise caution in the use of user-generated content from social media knowing how volatile and misleading social media has become. The management of Daar Communication Plc thereafter took to the social media to display our official correspondences.
Recently, the Commissions monitoring reports on AIT/Raypower indicate the use of divisive comments accredited to the segment of Kakaaki, tagged, Kakaaki Social, where inciting comments like, Nigeria is cursed, we declare independent state of Niger Delta, Nigeria irritates me, this country is gradually Islamizing and other similar slogans are used without editorial control in breach of the broadcast Code. We were therefore constrained to issue Daar Communication letters of warning dated May 27th, 2019.
We also observed from monitoring reports that a documentary on the Presidential Election Tribunal, a pending election petition matter aired on AIT on Wednesday and Thursday, 22nd and 23rd May 2019 without regard to the provisions of the Broadcast Code. The Commission, in line with its regulatory powers, again cautioned AIT in another letter also dated 27th May 2019.
However, instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms.
Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.
In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carry on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission. They dont pay their licence fees as and when due.
Its broadcast is patently partisan and one-sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity. The management of the Company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.
SHUT DOWN ORDER
Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Raypower embarked on the use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.
Consequently, after several meetings with the management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commissions directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
This decision is based on the provisions of Section 10 of the Third Schedule of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which states as follows:
(d) wherein the opinion of the Commission the station has been used in a manner detrimental to the national interest.
(g) where there is willful or repeated failure to operate substantially as set forth in the licence
(h), where there is willful or repeated violation or willful or repeated failure to observe any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorised by this Act or by a treaty ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(i), where there is a violation of or failure to observe any cease and desist order issued by the Commission;
(k), where a provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code has been seriously breached; and
The House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value on Thursday commenced a public hearing on a bill seeking to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act.
The bill is aimed at strengthening the Commission and making it more effective to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria.
The proposed amendment is also seeking to ensure that all Television and Cable Services run education programs in line with school curricula.
The bill which seeks to amend NBC Act earlier in October passed second reading.
Tagged “National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, 2018,” the amendment seeks to mandate every private and public radio and television stations in Nigeria to provide dedicated education programmes that will cover all subjects in the school curriculum.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has extended the deadline for the payment of outstanding licence fees by broadcast stations by three months.
This was announced on Friday in Abuja by the Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, who stated that the new deadline is now June 30, 2017.
The NBC boss lauded the leadership of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh, for spearheading an initiative to synergise broadcast organisations and officials of the NBC, to work out modalities leading to a final solution on the matter.
He added that the Commission would release a statement of account to each station within the month of April, to enable them reconcile their records and remit what is owed before June 30.
Mr Kawu said more than 54 broadcast licences have been revoked since 2015, adding that the number of revocations would rise as new applicants for broadcast licences replace indebted broadcasters.
“There are those who used political connections with the top-most political leadership in Nigeria in the past to get illegal and undue favours that ran contrary to the NBC Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” he said earlier in an interview.
The NBC Director-General noted that “it’s a different period in our country”, saying “nobody will go up to Aso Villa and get some black market deal anymore”.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says all broadcast stations owing the Federal Government over 5 billion Naira, due licensing fees will be shut down by March 31, 2017 if they are unable to pay the full amount by that date.
The NBC Director-General, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu says more than 54 broadcast licenses have been revoked since 2015 and that the number of revocations will rise as new applicants for broadcast licenses replace indebted broadcasters.
According to him, “There are those who used political connections with the top-most political leadership in Nigeria in the past to get illegal and undue favours that ran contrary to the NBC act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“It’s a different period in our country. Nobody will go up to Aso Villa and get some black market deal anymore.
“We gave a timeline of March 15 2017 for all stations owing outstanding licensing fees to effect payment.
“After consultations, that timeline is being extended to March 31st 2017.
“We are not unreasonable, we can look at what the problems are but you have to pay the money.”
He added that for some organisations, licenses had expired as far back as 2015, meanwhile according to him, six months to the expiration of the license, the station is expected to inform the NBC that they are willing to continue as a licencee of the NBC.
Rather than doing so, the NBC boss said they did not bother to inform the commission and instead, told them how much they wanted to pay.
“We are going to close down those stations the day after March 31st,” he stressed.
The Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh, is advocating a constitutional amendment that will provide for the removal of radio and television licensing from the functions of local government councils.
Mr Momoh gave the suggestion on Tuesday in his first official address as the chairman of the organisation.
He is also proposing the empowerment of the National Broadcasting Commission to collect the license fees in trust for and on behalf of the public radio and television stations.
Such amendment will mean that public broadcasters will stop collecting adverts from the public, which will then become the exclusive preserve of private broadcasters.
Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman and CEO of Channels Television, explained that the proposal would ensure that the principles of funding of the dual broadcasting system, which Nigeria practices, was fully embraced, implemented and practiced as it is in other parts of the world.
It was the 66th General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria which coincides with the final transition and hand-over of baton of leadership to the newly elected chairman of the organisation and his Vice Chairman, Sa’a Ibrahim.
To set the tone for the Assembly, which focuses on plans for the broadcast sector development, the out-going chairman of the organisation, said innovation, creativity and responsiveness were critical to the broadcasting association.
The role of the media as the developmental template setter, as well as challenges that need to be tackled to reposition the Nigeria broadcast industry, are central to discussions at the assembly.
With the handover of mantle of leadership to Mr Momoh, the 12th chairman of the association and the first independent broadcaster to hold the position, his key areas of concern were stated without equivocation.
Some of the areas the new BON chairman is set to tackle are; the establishment of a united and common front to help eliminate industry debt, resuscitation of the Society of Nigerian Broadcasters, digital switchover, the education and training of members through collaboration with international broadcast organisations and the establishment of a BON festival.
For these projections, he sets the stage with a promise of a new era in the broadcast industry.
The Federal Government has announced plans to launch digital broadcasting in December as part of efforts to ensure the realization of the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline.
This is in line with the directive of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to its member countries.
Fielding questions from Journalists in Abuja after inspecting a set-up box manufacturing company, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said that digitizing broadcasting in Nigeria is irreversible and unstoppable and that the digital switch over is no longer a matter of choice but a matter of necessity.
He added that the process of digitization would also provide over a million jobs for Nigerian youths within the next two years.
The June 2017 deadline for the digital switch over from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is part of the development of all digital terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television for 119 countries who are members of the International Telecommunications Union.
The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega has called on the federal government to allow broadcast companies discharge their duties without interference.
Professor Jega who was speaking at a lecture organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) with the theme “Broadcasting, democracy and the challenge of the new Nigeria” said the broadcast media has been characterized by lack of fairness, balance and hate campaigns in recent times.
To change this situation however, Professor Jega recommended structural and behavioral change to deepen the nations nascent democracy.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, says Nigeria must meet the July 2017 deadline set for digital switchover from analogue broadcasting.
He said this while inaugurating a ministerial task force charged with the responsibility to ensure that the third deadline for the switchover is met.
He said that the progress made by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) which has managed the process of the digital switchover through the years must be built upon and concluded this time round.
The Minister warned that Nigeria’s failure to meet the deadline will cause economic losses for the country and create a gap in the telecommunication and broadcast sector, as well as violate an international treaty on digitization.
The Statement read: “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate disengagement of the following Chief Executive Officers of the under-listed Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions”.
President Buhari also approved that the most senior officers in the Parastatals, Agencies and Councils oversee the activities of the organisations pending the appointment of substantive Chief Executive Officers.
According to the statement, President Buhari, however, thanked the affected government officials for their invaluable services to the Nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.
List of the 26 parastatals and agencies.
(i) Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) (ii) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) (iii) Voice of Nigeria (VON) (iiii) News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) (v) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) (vi) Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) (vii) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (viii) Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) (ix) Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB) (x) Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) (xi) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) (xii) National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) (xiii) Petroleum Equalization Fund (xiiii) Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC) (xv) Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP) (xvi) Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) (xvii) Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) (xviii) Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) (xix) National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) (xx) Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) (xxi) Bank of Industry (BoI) (xxii) National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) (xxiii) National Orientation Agency (NOA) (xxiiii) Industrial Training Fund (ITF) (xxv) Nigerian Export-Import Bank (xxvi) National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
The Chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr Herbert Orji, has paid a historic courtesy visit to Channels Television at its headquarters in Lagos.
This is the first time a sitting Chairman of the commission would be visiting a television station.
Mr Orji was accompanied by his Special Assistant, Mr Uche Iheakanwa, and the Director of the NBC Lagos Zone, Mr Femi Ayeni.
They were received by the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, the Vice Chairman, Mrs Sola Momoh, and the management staff of the station.
During the visit, Mr Orji commended Channels Television for the exemplary role it is playing in the industry.
He also revealed the plans of the commission towards meeting the digitization deadline set for June 2015, saying that the commission was ready to start implementation in selected states, including Lagos, Oyo and Rivers.
Mr Orji also gave an assurance of subsequent implementation in other parts of the country.
After taking a tour of the station, the Chairman took out time to grant an interview where he revealed the plans of the commission to set up a National Broadcasting Fund of 200billion naira to help fund the sector.
He revealed that 25% of this would be designated for grants and capacity building and the remaining 75% would be given as loans at a single digit interest rate.
The Federal Government of Nigeria says it is not prepared to take any excuse from any state in the federation over failure to comply with the June 17, 2015 deadline for digital migration.
During a forum of representatives of state broadcast houses and members of the National Broadcasting Commission in Abuja, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said that the government had put in place all the necessary facilities to ensure a smooth migration by middle of next year.
It was the extra ordinary meeting of the National Council of Information, comprising the Minister of Information, commissioners in charge of information in the states, directors in the Federal Ministry of Information and heads of parastatals under the Information Ministry.
The meeting was meant to acquaint members on the level of implementation of the digitisation process in all the states.
While government is making efforts to ensure the compliance, the Minister of Information expressed concern that the present security situation may be a threat to full migration.
Already, the Federal Government had flagged-off the switch last month in Jos, the Plateau State Capital and other states are prepared for the migration.
The digital migration deadline was given by the International Telecommunication Union about five years ago, with the aim of freeing more spectrum for the development of broadcast sub-sector.
Some other dignitaries at the meeting were the Niger State Commissioner for Information, Danladi Mohammed, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Markson Sesegha and the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Emeka Mba amongst others.