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NBC driving reforms in broadcasting industry for national interest—Idachaba

The Ag. Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Prof Armstrong Idachaba has once again reiterated that all the ongoing reforms at the Commission are geared towards developing the creative industry and bringing the sector to global relevance.

Speaking during a press conference streamed via Webinar in Abuja, the Ag. DG recalled that “Only recently on the 27th of March, 2020, I announced the release of some amendments into the Nigeria Broadcasting Code (6th Edition). As stated then, part of the objectives of the amendments are the protection and promotion of the local broadcast industry from monopolistic and anti/ competitive behaviour; the stimulation of advertising revenue into the Broadcast industry and by extension the local creative industry.

“These objectives remain key and central to the development of broadcasting in Nigeria and the reform of the Broadcasting industry.  Whilst we acknowledge the mixed reactions of the industry to the release of the amendment to the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, we consider them healthy for the development of the broadcast Industry in Nigeria. And we must commend those who have intellectualized and enriched the discourse with incisive and decent arguments both for and against.

“The Commission wishes to reiterate the fact that the objectives of the amendments are in our National Best interest. We currently have a highly rated and hugely talented creative industry in Nigeria but the facts remain that content producers are unable to harness the benefits of their creative endowment due largely to monopolistic restrictions and anti-competitive behaviour.

“The current amendment aims at to reposition Nigerian the broadcasting industry and to make it more responsive to emerging realities in the broadcasting industry.

“There is no doubt that the Nigeria Broadcasting industry is facing a series of challenges. These include inability for the broadcasters to generate required funds from advertising and programming. Local Producers of content are no longer able to create contents for Television. This has led to an influx of foreign production companies some of them unregistered and unlicensed by the Nigerian Government. These companies have taken over the local content production space and by extension the advertising and broadcasting space, relegating the local entrepreneurs to oblivion.

“The Commission believes in DFI in the Broadcasting industry but this must be done with the noble philosophy to promote our own national dreams and vision.

“The amendments to the Code do not in any way prevent investments, if anything it simply says carry the Nigerian broadcaster along. We believe that if properly executed, these provisions will make rapid benefits for those who invest in Nigeria and the benefit of Nigerian media entrepreneurs and audiences.

“We know of a truth that Broadcasting is dynamic, so are the challenges to regulation.

“The Commission has noted all the concerns and observations, especially on 9.0.1 and 6.2.8.

Section 6.2.8 clearly point that, “Exclusivity shall not be allowed for sporting rights in the Nigerian territory and in furtherance thereof, no broadcaster or licensee shall license or acquire foreign sporting rights in such a manner as to exclude persons, broadcasters or licensees in Nigeria from sub-licensing the same.”

Continuing, Prof Idachaba averred that similarly, on 9.0.1, the point is that -a Broadcaster or licensee shall immediately after the coming into force of this Amendment be prohibited from effecting  informal agreements, written and oral agreements, explicit or implicit understandings or implementing concerted practices either exclusively or between market players that have as their object, intent, effect or purpose the restriction of competition, abuse of a dominant position or of substantial market power or create barriers to entry in the broadcast media industry in Nigeria.

“As you can see the above are obviously intended to promote and safeguard the Nigerian Broadcasting industry and to stimulate the maximization of its potential.

“Investors to the Broadcasting industry in Nigeria are welcome as the Code makes adequate provisions to protect their Business.

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