FG To Regulate Online News Platforms, Says Lai Mohammed
- Govt can fine promoter of hate speech up to N500,000 to N5m
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the government will regulate online news platforms in Nigeria.
Mohammed said this on Thursday during an inauguration of a seven-man committee set up to implement the National Broadcasting Commission’s reform.
Members of the committee are: Armstrong Idachaba, NBC director of monitoring (chairman); Godfrey Ohuabunwa, acting chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); J.K. Ehicheoya, director, legal services, ministry of information and C
culture; Binta Adamu Bello, secretary, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON); Ibrahim Jimoh, director of administration, FRCN; Agbo Kingsley Ndubuisi, NBC board member and Joe Mutah, chief press secretary, ministry of information and culture (secretary).
The Minister said the President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reformed to be implemented.
He said, with the new amendment to the NBC, the government can license WebTv and radion stations which includes foreign broadcasters’ signal into the country.
“The terms of reference of the committee are as follows; To establish and publish a new regulation for the licensing of web and internet broadcasters/international broadcasters in Nigeria,” he said.
“To immediately commence work on all statutory, legal and regulatory framework for further legislative action on the review of the NBC act by the national assembly.
“To work out the modalities for competitive and reasonable salaries, wages and other welfare needs of the staff of the commission.
“To establish necessary protocols for the establishment or appointment of professionals or technocrats (non-partisan personality) to run the agency, and appointment into the board of the NBC.”
The new amendment also gives the power to charge fines from N500,000 to N5 million to networks that promote hate speech, and upgrade of political comments relating to the same to “Class A” offence in the broadcasting code
The minister said the president also approved the upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5 million for breaches relating to hate speeches, and the upgrade of political comments relating to the same to ”Class A” offence in the broadcasting code.
“I do not doubt that this committee, which comprises highly-experienced professionals and administrators, will carry out a thorough job that will reposition the NBC as an effective and efficient regulator,” he said.