— March 1, 2019
….Threatens outright closure ahead of coming polls
The National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ) has sanctioned 45 broadcast stations across the nation.
Each of the stations is to pay N500, 000 for airing campaigns with indecent languages on air.
The total sum expected from the sanction amounts to N22.5million.
NTA, AIT, Channels, TVC lead the pack of sanctioned stations in the build-up to the just concluded presidential and National elections.
The stations which cut across the country was said to have committed some infractions which is against the broadcasting code.
NBC has, therefore, warned that it would not pardon any station that run foul of the code in the coming governorship, state Assembly and FCT council polls on the 9th of March.
NBC Director General Modibbo Kawu said that the commission will be forced to use the sledge hammer should any station contravene the code.
Kawu spoke Friday in Abuja while briefing Journalists on the Commission’s monitoring of the 2019 electioneering broadcasting and campaigns.
He said, “A total of 45 broadcast stations across Nigeria have been sanctioned and would pay the highest sum that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code allows are advised to remit at the due date to avoid graduated sanctions provided for in Section 18.104.22.168 of the Code.”
He stressed that the commission has done everything possible to assist the stations to be able to adhere to the code, including trainings and workshops for their personnel.
Despite the interventions, he said “at the end of the Presidential elections held on the 23rd of February, 2019, the following stations were found culpable of infractions of the provisions of the Code and have been sanctioned, accordingly. They violated Sections 5.2.12, 7.6.6 and 7.6.7 of the Code.”
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He also added that the “National Broadcasting Commission, as part of its mandate, commenced monitoring of the 2019 electioneering broadcasts and campaign, to ensure professionalism, good taste and decency in the election process.”
The Commission also sanctioned stations who allowed politicians to make abusive, inciting and provocative statements during rallies. This happened on several radio and television stations particularly, on the four national networks such as, NTA, AIT, Channels TV and TVC News. 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.”
Ahead of coming Saturday polls, Kawu stated, “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.”
He therefore stressed that, “The next step is not to sanction them and make them pay N500, 000 but we are going to close down any stations that take the next step in terms of these infractions”.
Kawu emphasized the need for broadcasters to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Code, especially on the need for compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
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