NBC Seeks to Regulate Social Media, Sends Bill to National Assembly

Written by Keji Evelyn

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sent a bill to the national assembly for the regulation of social media in Nigeria.

The bill seeks to repeal and reenact the NBC act, CAP L11 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004, to accommodate the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting service, promote quality audio and video, efficient management of the spectrum, Nigeria Broadcast Institute, social media regulation and related matters.

The NBC director-general, Balarabe Ilelah, disclosed this on Tuesday when he hosted Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, at the commission’s headquarters.

Ilelah described the ills of social media as a “monster” that needs to be tamed by law.

He said the current act does not give the NBC the right to regulate social media, which he said poses a threat to national security and social harmony.

“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,” he said.

He added that the commission has the power to sanction any broadcaster that violates the act establishing NBC.

“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,” he said.

“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 sanctions.”

He revealed that in 2023, a total of 1,238 warnings were given, while six different stations were penalised for breaching the broadcasting code.

The information minister commended the NBC for its efforts and urged it to work with the media so they do not see the commission as “punitive”.

He also inspected the facilities of the commission and expressed satisfaction with its performance.

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