The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) disclosed on Tuesday that a measure to regulate social media had been sent to the national legislature.
Balarabe Ilelah, the director general of NBC, said this on Tuesday when hosting Mohammed Idris, the minister of information and national orientation, at the commission’s headquarters.
Ilelah claimed that under the law as it stands, NBC is not authorised to control social media.
The NBC Act, also known as CAP L11 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, is up for repeal and reenactment by the regulator.
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He said, “We want to tell you that a bill for an act to repeal and amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) act, CAP L11 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004, to accommodate the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting service, also to promote quality audio and video, efficient management of the spectrum, Nigeria Broadcast Institute, social media regulation and related matters has been read for the first time on the floor of the national assembly.
“All these that are mentioned are not captured in the present act of the commission. We have already submitted a bill to amend the act.
“One of our major problems now is social media. Unless there is a law that allows NBC to act on social media issues, the issue will continue to be a monster in our daily lives in this country.”
Ilelah said the commission has the right to punish any broadcaster in line with the act establishing NBC.
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He added, “We have powers, we derive our powers from the act, and we have the powers to sanction stations. We don’t want to sanction, we prefer to bring them together for negotiation, for understanding.
“We only apply sanctions when there is no way out of it. We don’t want the stations or the stakeholders to see NBC as an enemy. If you mention NBC anywhere, the first impression is sanction.
“In 2023, a total of 1,238 warnings were given, while during the same year, six different stations were penalised.”
The information minister said the NBC should work with the media so they do not see the commission as punitive.
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