Lai Mohammed Wrote 6th Code Alone, We Have No Hands In It - NBC Board Distances Self

Date: 14-08-2020 7:15 am (5 months ago) | Author: Olusanya Akinrinola
- at 14-08-2020 07:15 AM (5 months ago)

The Board of the National Broadcasting Commission has distanced itself from the six edition of the NBC code announced by the commission in June.
The Board said the new broadcasting code was singlehandedly reviewed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed without consulting any member of the Board.
Ikra Bilbis, the Chairman of the NBC Board disclosed this on Thursday, August 13, 2020, during a press conference in Abuja.

Bilbis said the procedure for the NBC code review, which usually involves staff of the NBC, former DGs, retired Directors and all other relevant stakeholders in broadcasting was flouted by the minister.

He said, “The minister’s version of the revised code does not meet any known criteria of due process and inclusiveness of stakeholders.”

Bilbis further said that Mohammed sidelined the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, Independent Broadcast Association of Nigeria, private media outfits, broadcasters, notable media intellectuals, communication experts, digital team and the academia and singlehandedly carried out the review.

According to the Board Chairman, the sixth edition of the NBC code was borne out of observations made by members of the Federal Executive Council to Mohammed at one of their meetings in 2019.

The FEC members were said to have expressed worry about the divisive broadcasts engaged in by some broadcast media before, during and after the 2019 general elections, and also urged the NBC to strengthen its operations to avert future recurrence.

Bilbis said instead of directing appropriate authorities to act on the observation, the minister went ahead to review the broadcasting code all alone.

He said, “This noble observation of Mr. President was unfortunately misunderstood by the minister of information. Instead of studying and following the law, relevant rules and regulations, and direct the appropriate authorities as stipulated by the law to act on, he erroneously embarked on the review alone.

“From the history, traditions and the convention of the NBC, no Minister of Information has ever interfered in any NBC Code review. After the 2019 presentation of the 6th code (which is the present one), the minister has acted alone with just a handful of his loyalists who have written a new NB Code that has created uproar in the industry, threatening to destroy investments and lead to job losses.

“The NBC Code is a regulatory framework put together jointly by stakeholders to guide their operations in the industry. It is therefore not a unilateral government instrument and is already covered by law hence, not requiring any further Presidential approval. This might be the reason why till date the Hon. Minister cannot show us a copy of the Presidential approval.

“President Buhari is a stickler for due process and he always insists on organisations doing the right thing. The Minister’s version of the revised code does not meet any known criteria of due process and inclusiveness of stakeholders.”

Posted: at 14-08-2020 07:15 AM (5 months ago) | Hero
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