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Broadcast professional tasks new NBC DG on professionalism

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Mr. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah

For the new National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) DG, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, the task of redeeming the image of the country’s broadcasting regulatory body should be his utmost priority as he assumes office.

Until his appointment, NBC, under the leadership of former Acting DG, Armstrong Aduku Idachaba, had been involved in one controversy or the other.

For instance, the Nigerian government, through the NBC, ordered radio and television stations to deactivate their Twitter accounts, a development that sparked outrage among stakeholders.

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Prior to that, during the #End SARS protest, the NBC slammed fines on Channels TV, African Independent Television (AIT) and Arise TV over unprofessional reporting of the protests in the country.

But when Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Abuja last Friday announced Ilelah’s appointment, broadcast professionals heaved a sigh of relief, expressing optimism of a reformed NBC.

In an interview with The Guardian, Chairman Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Hajiya Sa”a Ibrahim, said the new DG should invest in capacity development of broadcasters across the country.

She added that the Digital Switch Over Policy should be sustained.

On NBC Facebook page, Peter Iorter said: “I hope you’ll discharge your duties professionally without witch-hunting the media. It’s important you pay attention to the backlog of radio broadcast license applications on the president’s desk. Some have been there for over 10 years.

Another Kingjames Iromidayor Jameson expressed hope that the NBC Code would be used appropriately and not to bully media houses into becoming partisans.

A graduate of Bayero University, Kano, Ilelah, grew up in Bauchi and attended Kobi Primary School, Bauchi, as well as Junior Secondary School Misau.

A veteran broadcaster, Ilelah worked with NTA Bauchi before leaving Nigeria for the then Soviet Union as a journalist.

According to Alhaji Mohammed, Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

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