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Minister directs NBC to re-position broadcast industry, create jobs

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately implement measures aimed at repositioning the broadcast industry with a view to sanitising the industry, creating jobs, promoting local content and bringing the broadcast industry up to par with the best practices from around the world.

Part of the measures to be implemented is the prohibition of 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 maximise utilisation by all broadcasters of premium content to grow their platforms and investment in other content.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the minister said the directive becomes necessary following the submission of the report of the committee set up to work out the modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the broadcast industry.

He said: ‘’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 implementation of the reforms; monitoring; independence of the regulator and ease of issuing licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues.’’

According to him, major highlights of the directive include new regulations to compel broadcasters to utilise the content and services of Nigerian independent producers in fulfillment of the regulatory requirements for 70 per cent local content, rather than the current abuse of the rules, which allows 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 minister noted that new regulations would 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 localised 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.

Besides, he said that for musical content, a new regulation would 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.

Mohammed, therefore, 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.


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