NBC tells broadcast stations to stop airing political campaigns 24 hours before elections
In line with the Electoral Act 2022, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has urged broadcast stations to stop airing political campaigns 24 hours before elections.
NBC’s Director Monitoring, Franca Aiyetan, stated that broadcasters “shall adhere strictly to guidelines provided in the Electoral Act 2022, all extant rules and guidelines on political coverage, therefore political broadcast shall commence 150 days to the Election Day and end 24 hours before polling day.”
She added Section 5 sub section 3 of NBC Code provides guidelines for political news and current affairs. “Section 7 guides the broadcaster through political advertisement and campaign. She also suggested free, fair and balanced coverage of the 2023 elections.”
Earlier, the Director General, NBC, Mallam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, urged the new broadcast licensees to use their platforms to unite the country and not to truncate the country’s democracy.
Speaking while presenting provisional approvals of broadcast licenses to the newly approved 67 licensees, the DG also called on the new broadcasters to complement the gesture of President Muhammadu Buhari by promoting the country’s democratic values, national unity, cultural heritage and peaceful co – existence as well as, act responsibly in accordance with the NBC Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and other extant laws guiding broadcasting in Nigeria.
The NBC boss enjoined the new licensees to promote and sustain Nigeria’s diverse culture by ensuring diversity in programme content for Nigeria’s widest audience. He further stressed that Nigerian content must be promoted and encouraged the production and projection of Nigerian life with the aim of achieving 70 per cent local content.
Ilelah also called on IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) owners and all other broadcast stations streaming online to register with the Commission to avoid disconnection and prosecution. He added that broadcasters should note that having a DTT or FM license does not warrant a broadcaster to stream online, stressing that they are two different licenses. He reiterated the Commission is working with security agencies to clamp down on illegal broadcasters in the country.
The DG also reminded licensees that are yet to pay their outstanding debts to pay or have their licenses revoked for illegal broadcasting. Noting that refusal to pay is an economic sabotage, and the NBC would have no option than to collaborate with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to redeem the debts.
Ilelah, in conclusion, congratulated the newly approved licensees and informed them that part of the requirement for the commencement of test transmission, henceforth, will be to send their staff for training at the newly established Nigerian Broadcast institute.
Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, the Executive Secretary of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), in his remarks, expressed his profound gratitude to the Commission for expanding the membership of their organisation through the newly approved licensees.
He advised the new licensees to adhere strictly to the Nigeria Broadcasting code to prevent being penalised. He also encouraged them to pay their broadcast license fees as at when due.
Responding on behalf of the new broadcast licensees, the Chairman, Afé-Elemah company Ltd, Dr. Muhammed Mustafa Lecky, assured the management of the Commission that they would be diligent in exerting their duties as broadcasters and work effectively in meeting up with the deadline for renewal of their broadcast license.