BON Asks FG To Improve Nigeria’s Broadcast Industry

The leadership of the Broadcasting Organisations Of Nigeria (BON) has appealed to the Federal Government to ease the business of broadcasting in Nigeria.

It made the call on Tuesday at a meeting with the Minister of Information and Culture and the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were issues regarding the licences regime and how to actualise the Federal Government’s digital switchover were discussed.

BON Chairman, Mr John Momoh, told journalists after the meeting, held behind closed doors, that the challenges faced by broadcasters in the country were top on the agenda.

“I sought the audience of the minister so that we can let them know that there was a lot of haemorrhaging in the industry and that a lot of our members are finding it very difficult to operate,” he said.

Beyond the concerns that broadcasters had, the BON leadership cleared some of the misconceptions about the digital switchover at the meeting.

“We had a lot of agreements in terms of (the government) working with us to ensure that we do not have a situation where we will not be able to operate as broadcasters,” Mr Momoh said.

In all, the BON chairman said the meeting was satisfactory.

The Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, and the NBC DG, Ishaq Modibbo- Kawu, who described the meeting as a success agreed that there was the need for government to work with BON and save the broadcast industry.

“The entire meeting is to ensure the survival of the industry and to ensure that the industry thrives,” he said, adding that the good thing about the meeting is the conclusion that both sides have to work together.

For the NBC DG, the relationship between the regulator and BON is central to the health of the broadcast industry, which plays a critical role in national development.

He added, “The issues that were raised today and which we attempted to clear, one after the other, just strengthens our resolve that we need to work together to sanitise our industry and to assist the industry to grow.

“Broadcasting is very central to national development and the kind of work that our broadcasters are doing over the last couple of years has shown that Nigeria has tremendous potential that we are also gradually beginning to fulfil.”

 

Ondo Govt Calls On NBC For Fairness In Boundary Dispute

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The Ondo State Government has urged officials of National Boundary Commission (NBC), Abuja who are in the state for the ethnographic study on boundary crisis between the state and Ogun State to be fair in carrying out its exercise.

The State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, made the appeal to the officials of the NBC to do justice to the study as he assured them of adequate security among other logistics for the smooth conduct of the one-week exercise.

The officials of NBC are in the state to conduct the ethnographic study on four local governments involved in the boundary crisis between the two states. The affected local governments include Ondo West, Odigbo, Okitipupa and llaje Local Government Areas of Ondo State.

Agboola, who assured the readiness of the state government towards the peaceful conduct of the exercise noted that Ondo State is the most peaceful state among the Niger Delta States.

According to him, the boundary crisis between Ogun and Ondo States has been a long issue which the state government understands the predicament preventing the commission from pronouncing judgment on the boundary dispute between the duo states.

He said that the residents of llado and Ayila communities among others are lkale and llaje people from Ondo State who regarded themselves as the citizens of the state and not Ogun State.

These people, he said are residents of Ondo State who always cooperate with the state government and that the residents have not been given consideration in the Ogun State government activities.

Earlier, the Director, National Boundary Commission, Dr. Richard Oji, explained that the commission is taking the effort to find a lasting solution to the boundary crisis and achieve boundary cooperation between the two states through ethnographic study.

Oji said during the course of the conduct of the exercise, the commission intends to look into factors which led to boundary dispute between the duo states.

He, therefore, made it clear that the exercise by the commission in the state was not to share the boundary but to let residents of the involved communities co-exist as well gather information for the resolution on the boundary crisis.

According to him, the residents of the affected communities would be enlightened on the essence of the exercise for peace to reign.

Oji explained further that several steps have been taken as various meeting were held between the two states with the commission to ensure the long boundary crisis is resolved.

He made known that several meetings held by the commission including the one in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital led to the resolution that the ethnographic should be conducted.

It would be recalled that the Ondo State Boundary Commission had conducted sensitization programme to sensitize the residents of the involved councils in the boundary crisis on the need to harmonise peace and the conduct of the exercise by the officials of NBC.

NBC Denies Banning Songs By Olamide, Davido, 9ice

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has denied banning songs by Olamide, Davido, and 9ice.

This is coming off the back of the news that went viral on the social media on Tuesday claiming that the commission had banned songs by the artistes.

The Head of Public Affairs at the NBC, Mrs Maimuna Jimada, told Channels Television that reports of a ban were false.

According to her, the commission was surprised to see the reports making the rounds.

Amid reports of the ban, the Health Ministry which had called Olamide out over music video for his song ‘Wo’, clarified that it did not have the powers to ban songs.

The ministry had earlier tweeted the song violated the Tobacco Act.

BON Demands Timeline From NBC On Digital Switchover

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has demanded a timeline from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on digital switch-over in the country.

The organisation made the call during its 67th General Assembly and 16th Annual General Meeting which took place in Owerri, Imo State.

The meeting took place at the Imo Trade and Investment Centre Owerri, where the Chairman of the BON and Chairman Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh said it is important that the NBC and Digiteam hit the reset button on the planned digital switch over of the broadcast industry.

Read Also: BON Holds 67th General Assembly In Owerri

Mr Momoh, explained that the licensing of the third parties like CCNL, STB manufacturers and Inview Technology has created a clog in the actualisation of the digital switch over.

He added that it is Illogical to have a middleman between a content producer and the signal distributor and therefore, urged the NBC to ensure that all technical and coordination activities of the existing DTT pay source are resolved otherwise the digital switch over will not be actualised.

He also stressed that there’s need to appeal to the Federal Government to show more interest in helping the media industry develop business and financing models that are sufficient in harnessing the massive value chain economy of the BON.

Momoh, however, expressed confidence that the set agenda for his administration has made tremendous and significant progress over the last seven months.

Among those also present were the Director General of Imo broadcasting Corporation, Mr Ralph Afoaku and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed who was represented by the General Manager of NTA Owerri, Gladys Igboanugo.

The Minister on his part, commended the BON for their contribution in developing the broadcast industry and also called for its support in the development of the country under the President Buhari-led government.

NBC Launches Digital Switchover In Ilorin

NBC Launches Digital Switchover In IlorinResidents of Ilorin can now enjoy advanced broadcast viewing following the launch of the digital switchover by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The Director-General of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo- Kawu, told reporters in Kwara State that the launch was in line with the commission’s policy to ensure households migrate from analogue to digital.

“Now we are going to six states in each of the geo-political zones – Kwara in the North-Central, Osun in the South-West, Gombe in the North-East, Kaduna in the North-West, Enugu in the South-East and Delta in the South-South.

“We are going to have to do it in phases because digital switchover is a major challenge in terms of technology, in terms of logistics and the finance,” he said.

Mr Modibbo- Kawu asked Nigerians to be patient with the NBC, explaining that the switchover was being done in phases due to the cost of procuring the equipment needed.

“The 650,000 boxes that we procured for the first phase cost us $26m, that’s a huge amount of money, considering that you are having about 35m television homes in Nigeria with each box [costing] about $45 per box.

“It’s a very expensive process and that’s why we are doing it in the phased manner and we are giving a bouquet of 30 programmes which will continue to expand as more and more producers of television content come on stream,” he added.

NBC Code: BON Chairman, Momoh Seeks Review Of Sections

The Chairman of the Broadcasing Organisations of Nigeria and Chairman, Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, has asked the National Broadcasting Commission to review the payment of annual levy and turnover made by broadcast stations in the country.

Mr Momoh, who was addressing participants at a four-day stakeholders code review retreat in Kano, explained that the BON’s recommendations were made based on the belief that the NBC would encourage, protect and truly cooperate with the stations.

He added, “We propose that the current definition section be expanded to include more detailed guidelines, in addition to covering definitions that are currently missing such as annual income, the meaning of Grade A Breach, broadcast operatives, regulatory agency among other things that require proper interpretation section.”

On his part, the Director General of the NBC, Ishaq Modibbo, believes that in order to ensure professionalism in broadcasting, the code has to be reviewed in line with Nigeria’s political aspirations and is expected to serve as a central document to keep professionals in check.

“We intend to produce a guiding document for professional engagement in Nigerian broadcasting that will turn out to be a document for effective use of new technology in tune with the nation’s political aspirations,” he said.

According to the Kano State Government, the review of the code comes at a when most local broadcast radio stations consistently breach the provisions of various sections of the Code, which include disregards for constituted authorities and unguarded comments that pose nothing but a threat to peace and stability of the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, urged the NBC to continue to pay close attention to the activities of some broadcasters in Kano.

Broadcasters from across Nigeria gathered in Kano State to review the nation’s Broadcasting Code in line with the realities of the new era in the broadcast industry.

Licence Fees: NBC Extends Deadline For Payment

nbc-bossThe 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.

The extension followed an initial announcement by the NBC to shut down all indebted broadcast stations after March 31, if the outstanding fees were not paid.

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”.

Court Orders NAFDAC To Warn Against Drinking Fanta, Sprite With Vitamin C

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public FightA Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island, has ordered the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to order the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) PLC, to put a written warning on Fanta and Sprite bottles stating that both soft drinks are poisonous, when consumed along with Vitamin C.

The court also held that NAFDAC failed Nigerians by declaring, as fit for human consumption, products discovered by tests in the United Kingdom as turning poisonous when mixed with Ascorbic Acid (popularly known as Vitamin C).

In the judgment given by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, the court awarded a cost of 2million Naira against NAFDAC.

The court judgment was given in a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC PLC and NAFDAC.

Mr. Adebo, had in the suit, urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.

The businessman also urged the court to order NAFDAC to carry out routine laboratory tests on all the soft drinks and related products NBC bottles to ensure their safety for consumption.

In documents before the court, it was alleged that in March 2007, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Company bought large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and soda water from NBC for export and subsequent retail in the United Kingdom.

But when the consignment arrived the United Kingdom, health authorities in that country, precisely the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard’s Department of Environment and Economy Directorate, raised fundamental health issues on the contents and composition of Fanta and Sprite.

Findings by the United Kingdom Health Authorities were also corroborated by other agencies in European Union countries, which found the products to contain excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid, which are known to be carcinogenic.

On account of the irregularities and carcinogenic substances present in the drinks, Mr. Adebo and his company said they could not sell the Fanta and Sprite, this caused huge losses for the company, as the products were seized and destroyed by the United Kingdom Health Authorities.

The claimants equally alleged that NAFDAC did not carry out requisite tests to determine the safety of the drinks for human consumption.

In its response filed before the court by Mr. Tunde Busari, NBC admitted supplying the products, but contended that they are meant for local distribution and consumption, as it does not produce for export.

The company also denied that it was negligent, as it has stringent quality control procedures to ensure that its products are safe for end-user consumption.

NBC also rejected the allegation that the damages claimed by the businessman and his firm were caused by negligence or any fault on its part.

It argued that the levels of the chemical components in its soft drinks are safe for consumption in Nigeria and that the claimants are not entitled to the recovery of damages arising from their illegal exportation of products meant for local distribution.

NAFDAC on its part did not file any defense.

In her judgment, Justice Oyebanji said he was in absolute agreement with the claimants that soft drinks manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company ought to be fit for human consumption irrespective of whether they were to be consumed locally or exported.

He also held that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company.

The court then ordered, “That NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.

FG Directs NBC To Investigate Big Brother Nigeria Location Controversy

nbc-nigeriaThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reported shooting of the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria Reality Show in South Africa.

In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister said the NBC should determine whether Multi-Choice, by shooting the show in South Africa, has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way, as well as the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would be staged outside Nigeria.

”As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,” he said.

While expressing concerns that Nigerians have bombarded his office with calls to complain about what they regard as an anomaly (of shooting outside the country a show meant for Nigerians), he requested that they should remain calm while the NBC investigates the issue and submits its findings.

Digital Switchover: NBC Distributes Set Up Boxes In Abuja

Digital Switchover, AbujaThe Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Modibbo Kawu, says over 100,000 set up boxes have been distributed in Abuja in three weeks.

This follows the digital switchover of the Federal Capital Territory in December 2016.

Briefing reporters on the progress of the switchover plan in Abuja, Mr Kawu was hopeful that the June 2017 deadline across Nigeria would be met.

He noted that the digitisation was not an event, but a process which would continue years after the deadline until the switchover was 100%.

The NBC boss said that the Federal Capital Territory would serve as the laboratory for the Nigeria’s complete digitisation, where observed mistakes and challenges would aid the next phase of switchover across the six geo-political zones.

He hinted that about 90 youths have been employed as agents to run the 24 hours call centre to tackle activation and other challenges.

FG To Launch Digital Switchover In Abuja In December

Digital SwitchoverThe 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.

FG Meets UK Team Over Switch To Digital Broadcasting

Lai Mohammed, Broadcast DigitisationAs Nigeria moves forward in the switch over from analog to digital transmission, the Federal Government says it is learning from the experiences of the United Kingdom.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, said this after meeting a team from the United Kingdom on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Minister explained that the essence of the meeting was for Nigeria to be enlightened on the basics of a successful digital switch over.

He added that following the successful take-off of the pilot scheme in Jos in central Nigeria, there would be a full roll over in the entire Plateau State and the Federal Capital Territory.

Digital switchoverThe National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had failed to keep to its promise that the June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the digital switch over was sacrosanct.

Former Director-General of the NBC, Mr Emeka Mba, had extended the switch over by 18 months, explaining that three years into the process of digitisation with zero allocation and myriads of challenges before the NBC such as aggregate content development, distribution and production and availability of set top boxes, the June 17 deadline was uncertain.

However, the pilot phase of the switch over had Kicked off in the Plateau State capital, signalling the beginning of the process which would spread across states.

Mr Mohammed noted observed that the broadcasting industry at the local, state and national levels was being revolutionised to provide viewers better visuals and sound quality.