Skip to content

National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code as amended is overstretched: FOI Counsel Boss

FOI COUNSEL has applauded the NBC Code for its local content boost but condemned the code’s suspicious stretch into other statutory layers.

According to the executive director of FOI Counsel, Mr. President Aigbokhan, Esq, the expanding civic space in Nigeria as facilitated by the amended code is a welcome development save for its impact on intellectual property right, sanctity of contract and anti-competition. We agree that the Code tends to emasculate holders of intellectual property and compel them to cede their copyright and content to third parties.

President Aigbokhan

No doubt the commission deserve commendation for encouraging the use of local content in broadcast sector with attendant advantages.

The commission must be reminded that a service provider who breaches any provision of the NBC code on web/online broadcasting cannot be sanctioned by it. Sanction like take down, blocking or shutdown of the channel or fine is a prerogative of a judicial system. The intervention of court is indispensable and cannot be carted away by an administrative or executive body.

We are bothered with the exercise of power by the Commission to fine an online broadcast outfit who fails to register with the commission or submit its program itinerary for approval. General ban of online content that is not approved by the commission is inimical to the tenet of democracy and the times that we are in. Online broadcasting has come to play an increasingly important role in gathering and dissemination of information. Restrictions on the operation of websites, blogs or any other internet based electronic or providers for lack of registration or approval of content is harmful to diversity of sources and views.

NBC cannot provide regulatory oversight over online media. This is because, online media outfit is not issued a broadcasting frequency or license to operate and so NBC cannot revoke a license that was never issued. A broadcasting license has to be linked to services on an allocated frequency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 + three =