National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Channels TV, NTA, and 43 other television and radio stations, N500, 000 each for infractions made in their broadcast during the campaigns for the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The commission said the infractions contravene provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, NBC director general, said that the NBC, prior to the elections, embarked on a deliberate training and sensitization programmes to remind stations of the provisions of the broadcasting Code and to warn about the dangers of hate speech.
He observed that the Commission emphasized the need for broadcasters to adhere strictly to the provisions of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
He regretted that despite the various interventions, about 45 stations at the end of the Presidential elections held on February 23, 2019 violated Sections 5.2.12, 7.6.6 and 7.6.7 of the Code.
Kawu noted that the Commission also sanctioned stations who allowed politicians to make abusive, inciting and provocative statements during rallies adding that this happened on several radio and television stations particularly, on the four national networks such as, NTA, AIT, Channels TV and TVC News.
He said, “There are also several state radio and television stations involved in this infraction. Only recently Jay FM Jos was sanctioned for allowing its platform to be used to preach hate. We want to warn that stations that continue to use hate and inflammatory comments that threaten the security of the country will be shut down.”
Malam Kawu had said the Nigerian broadcasting industry is a deregulated field and as many as possible can come in but standard and disciplined must be maintained.
He said the NBC usually release lists of sanctioned stations every quarter and it no station would be spared if found to contravene any code.
The Director-General said it has become very worrisome that in spite of the very clear and laudable objectives of the NBC Code some broadcasters have continued to use their media to create hate and stir conflicts.