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The Acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Prof Armstrong Idachaba has made his median media address with a vow to drive commitments towards realization of the key aims and objectives of industry regulations.
Addressing the press weekend in his office in Abuja, he disclosed that he will adopt inclusive stakeholders’ approach in the affairs of the Commission, saying “As a deliberate strategy for inclusion, the Commission shall in the next two weeks publish the details of the thrust of the reforms implementation for industry and public input. This will be aggregated and developed for further regulatory intervention.”
While noting that “We are avowed to promoting pluralism of ideas, diversity of opinion and choice of content,” Prof Idachaba made it clear that the broadcast industry is critical to the realization of the economic potentials of our nation and in building national cohesion.
According to him, “You will recall that not long ago the President approved the recommendations of the Reform implementation committee. The Reform provides for far reaching changes in the broadcast industry. The changes are in the areas of the welfare of the regulator, amendment and proposal for inclusion of certain new laws especially in the area of the Independence of the Regulator and the participation of the industry in the board of the Commission.
“Also in the area of New Regulations on content emanating from the social media. Let me make it clear that the NBC does not intend to and cannot deny citizens freedom of expression as entrenched by the Constitution. The regulations are intended to mandate owners of distribution platforms to ensure through self-regulation, and the statutory provisions, that contents that will emerge on their platforms are not harmful content.
The Acting DG, who assured that the reforms directed by Mr. President will be highly implemented, stressed that “Another key area in the reform is in the area of regulating Monopolistic tendencies by Rights owners. The point is that the regulator owes the country a responsibility to provide regulations that will promote the economic and overall interest of the vast majority of Nigerians.”
He said “We need DFI no doubt but even the DFI should further expand the opportunities for the growth of our citizens. Therefore the idea is that Rights owners will have their rights protected but they should be willing to allow Nigerians benefit from the exploitation of those rights.
Giving further insights on the journey of Digital Switch Over (DSO) so far, he revealed that “The Commission and indeed the Federal Government remain committed to the realization of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) because of its vast benefits to Nigerians. We acknowledge that roll out has been slow, but with the support and drive of the Minister of Information and the Board of the NBC, we are resolved to continue with the roll –out.
Accordingly, he announced that “The Digiteam and the NBC along with stakeholders shall release a new roll out time indicating switch dates within the next 3 weeks.
He assured Nigerians that he will remain committed and focused on the need for social responsibility, pointing out that “Our broadcast stations have a responsibility to extol positive family values and promote a sound and morally built nation. We must discourage contents that corrupt the minds, inciting comments, fake news and other harmful content.”
Business Hilights recalls that the Federal Government vide a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, suspended hitherto DG, Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu and ordered the most senior official of the Commission, Prof Idachaba to stand in pending a possible recall of Malam Kawu if his ongoing trial by the ICPC in Federal High Court goes in his favour on March 26, 2020, or a substantive DG if not.
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