NBC ACT: Nigerian Govt Wants Online Broadcast, Social Media Regulated
The Nigerian government has indicated interest in having internet broadcasting and social media in Nigeria regulated by the House of Representatives, urging the lawmakers to pass laws regulating them.
The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, made the call at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Wednesday.
On the contrary, stakeholders in the media industry called on the lawmakers to strip the minister and the NBC of several regulatory powers.
They also criticised the mode of appointment of the leadership of the NBC and the regulation of the industry especially relating to subscription tariffs, saying it would stifle competition and disallow fair play in the industry.
The government however asked the lawmakers to donate more powers to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to regulate prices, rates and tariffs imposed by satellite and cable television service providers in the country.
The House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values had organised the hearing on five bills.
Nevertheless, the bill seeking to amend the NBC Act generated the huge argument at the hearing.
The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Broadcasting Act. Cap. N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to Strengthen the Commission and Make It More Effective to Regulate Broadcasting in Nigeria, to Provide for Payment of All Monies Received by the Commission into the Federation Account in Accordance with Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and Encourage Liberal Openness and Favourable Competition in the Industry’.
In his presentation, Lai Mohammed criticised some sections of the NBC Act amendment bill. “I want to add here specifically that internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content, including Twitter,” he said.
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