The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says it regulates broadcast contents in line with the National Broadcasting Commission Act and the Nigerian Broadcasting Code which empower it to regulate the broadcast industry and set standards with regard to the contents and quality of materials broadcast in Nigeria.
Reacting to comments and observations in the media space regarding the fine imposed on Jay FM Jos for allegedly continuously airing vulgar and indecent music lyrics in spite of verbal and written warnings to the station, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, NBC Director General, said its actions were “strictly informed by and carried out according to the dictates of the Law and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”
He said the Commission had been very proactive and responsive in its efforts at regulating the broadcasting industry especially as regards to ensuring the Nigerian citizens’ right to quality broadcasting in line with the dictates of the enabling law and code.
Mallam IsModibbo Kawu emphasized that the Act establishing the Commission empowers it to amongst other mandates in Section 2.1(h): establish and disseminate a National Broadcasting Code and set standards with regard to the contents and quality of materials that are broadcast.
He added that by Industry standards, broadcast stations are mandated by law to adhere strictly to the dictates of the Code and where they falter, the Commission initiates the sanction process.
The DG pointed out that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code is a document that has the input of a wide variety of stakeholders because of the revolutionary nature of broadcasting. He added that the Code is reviewed every four years in a stakeholders’ participatory process.
Making further clarifications, he said information about the review of the Code is disseminated widely and participation is open to all relevant and interested members of the public and that in addition, the Code is available on the NBC website and media pages and at its various offices located across the country.
Mallam Modibbo Kawu again pointed out that broadcasting is a creative medium characterized by professionalism, choice and innovation to serve the interest of the general public and is expected to influence society positively by setting the agenda for the social, cultural, economic, political and technological development of the nation and for the public good.
He noted that artistes in other climes produce content in at least two versions, the broadcast version that follows broadcasting guidelines which is deemed “fit for broadcast” and made available to broadcast stations and outlets and the original version which is made available through private channels not regulated, such as on music streaming services or at private events.
The DG thereafter enjoined artistes to produce broadcast versions of their works to enable broadcast stations use them without contravening the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code adding that Nigerian artistes have a responsibility to the country.
He pointed out that popular songs of leading Nigerian musicians garner millions of views on YouTube indicating the level of influence they exert upon the young people who make up the majority of Nigeria’s population adding: “The commission believes that artistes should offer a positive influence on this young population.”
Modibbo kawu also promised that the Commission will continue to execute its responsibilities without fear or favour and shall apply the relevant sanctions on erring stations whenever they violate the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.