Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has

directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately

implement measures aimed at re-positioning the broadcast industry with

a view to sanitizing the industry, creating jobs, promoting local

content, boosting the advert industry and bringing the broadcast

industry up to par with the best practices from around the world.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said the

directive becomes necessary following the submission of the report of

the committee which he set up to work out the modalities for

implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu

Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.

”Following my satisfaction with the report which was very

professional and detailed, I wish to direct the Commission to take the

necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various

provisions therein. This directive covers the provision for the

regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international

broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource

and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring;

Independence of the Regulator and ease of issuing Licenses  as well as

competition and monopoly issues,” he said.

Major highlights of the Minister’s directive include new regulations

to compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian

independent producers, in fulfillment of the regulatory requirements

for 70% local content, rather than the current abuse of the rules

which allow many loopholes for the production of such content in

jurisdictions outside Nigeria. This will empower local producers with

proper funding and investment, enhance foreign collaborations, develop

the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and

ultimately lead to job creation.

The new regulations will also ensure that producers of content are

paid promptly for adverts and sponsored content placed on all TV,

radio and broadcast platforms, ensure that the production of adverts

are localized to create and promote local production and, where it is

not, to attract a charge every time such an advert is aired, with the

charge being put into a fund to help develop local expertise in

production.

For musical content, a new regulation will ensure that broadcasters

are prevented from illegal and unpaid use of musical works without

payment of the applicable license fees and/or royalties required by

music rights owners.

Similar provision will prohibit exclusivity of sporting rights in

Nigeria, as a new regulation now mandates broadcasters and exclusive

licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach

and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content,

in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.

”This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or

anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local

broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and

radio markets, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria

and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of

commercially viable fees,” the Minister said.

He expressed the confidence that the new regulations, which are due to

come into effect this month, will re-energize the broadcast industry,

deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry for

the benefit of the practitioners.