The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Monday, insisted that the recent amendment of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code was in the best interest of the country.
The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Board had earlier this month accused the minister of usurping its functions after he announced an increase in the hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5million and other amendments to the broadcasting code.
However, at NBC’s 28th anniversary and sixth annual lecture held in Abuja, Mohammed defended the amendments, saying the government’s expectation was that the ongoing reforms would revolutionise the nation’s broadcasting industry.
He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) supported the amendments after a review of the 2019 general elections.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recommendations in order to reposition the NBC.
Mohammed said: “The approval necessitated some amendments in the Code and the Act (of NBC).
“The amendments are mostly in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour.
“There are obviously lots of positive and desirable outcomes from the new broadcasting code; the provisions on exclusivity and monopoly.
“This antitrust provision will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters whose intent is to create monopolies.”