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Online news outlets to be regulated says Lai Mohammed
LAI Mohammed, minister of information and culture, in Abuja on Thursday, said online news platform will soon be regulated.
During the inauguration of a seven-man committee set up charged with the implementation of reforms in the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the minister said the committee is to implement recommendations supposedly approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mohammed said the president has approved an amendment to the NBC act which would enable the committee license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming with wide reach or coverage that extends to 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.
“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 a competitive and reasonable salary, 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 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 as ”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.
The committee is comprised of 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 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).