Nigeria: Controversial Broadcasting Regulation Officially Presented To Public - Despite Industry Outcry!
The Nigerian authorities have been accused of ignoring the legitimate opposition of a cross-section of the broadcast media this industry when it went ahead to officially launch the country's new National Broadcasting Code - the sixth version.
On Tuesday, 04 August 2020, Mr Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture (the department with oversight of the broadcasting industry) presented the controversial regulatory framework, saying that all the provisions contained within the code will help take the broadcasting and electronic media industry in Nigeria to a better place. He suggested that the new regulatory mandate is a game-changer, that when all is said and done would be the legacy of the current administrators.
A significant cross-section of industry practitioners, experts and members of the stakeholding public have already voiced their strident opposition to the broadcasting code, pointing to the fact that the new rules are profoundly "draconian", giving undue powers to the regulator - National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) - to participate in areas of the industry where it has no jurisdictions.
The main thrust of controversy within the new code, it will be recalled, is the bit that allows the NBC to effectively regulate if and how the exclusivity of content is applied, giving it (the NBC) the power to enforce content sharing and determine prices at which any sub-licensing occurs.
Industry watchers are still unconvinced about this new set of broadcasting regulation. It is thought to be too political and is designed to help unsustainable PayTV businesses.
Credit: contribution from The Cable NG