By BARBARA KALU, Lagos –
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has commenced the implementation of the reforms approved by the President to strengthen the Commission’s regulatory role and make it more effective.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Lagos on Friday at a meeting with the Filmic Group, a platform for Creative Industry Practitioners comprising movie producers, theatre directors and content producers, among others.
“I can confirm to you that the current NBC Management and Board have begun the actual implementation process. I am reliably informed by the Acting Director General of the NBC, who is here with us, that in the next two weeks, there will be a stakeholder Validation Conference to endorse the new initiatives in the industry, after which the necessary amendments to the Broadcasting Code on Monopoly and Anti-Competition, unwholesome content on social media and other amendments will be published for the public and the industry,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the process for the amendment of the NBC Act has begun and and that an Executive Bill will soon be sent to the National Assembly for further legislative action.
On improved welfare package for the staff of the NBC, Alhaji Mohammed said the Board of the Commission has received the approved recommendations and is in the process of implementation.
The Minister, who said the government has shown good faith on the reform of the broadcast industry in order to place it in good stead to achieve its full potentials, urged the stakeholders to partner with the government in order to develop a broadcast industry that will continue to create jobs and reward talents.
“You can now see that this reform is not a fluke. I therefore want to challenge your group, and other stakeholders, to continue to cooperate with the industry regulator in order to ensure a faithful implementation of the recommendations,” he said.
In his remarks, one of the leaders of the Filmic Group and a prolific movie producer, Mr. Mahmoud Alli-Balogun, thanked the Minister for the implementation of policies aimed at revolutionizing the creative industry and unlocking its huge potentials for wealth creation and employment generation.
“I want to say that since the deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria, I think what we have today that we are sort of celebrating in advance following its complete passage is a landmark occurrence in the sense that since deregulation, we have had the short end of the stick.
”But with what you have done, Honourable Minister, I think we can begin to sing ‘Uhuru’ because as content producers, we have been at the mercy of the other people in the value chain,” he said.
Another member of the Filmic Group, Mr. Obi Asika, said with the unfolding of the new policies in the broadcasting industry, within the next couple of years, 50 new viable channels could be floated to provide entertainment and create more jobs, in view of the nation’s huge market and the commitment of the industry players.
The NBC Reforms Implementation Committee submitted its report to the Minister on 19 Nov. 2019 with far-reaching recommendations aimed at strengthening the regulatory role of the Commission and unlocking the creative ability of Nigerians by abolishing Monopoly and Anti-Competition in the broadcast industry.
The Acting Director General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, who chaired the Reforms Implementation Committee, accompanied the Minister to the meeting with the Filmic Group