The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately implement measures aimed at re-positioning the broadcast industry with a view to sanitizing the industry, creating jobs, promoting local content, boosting the advert industry and bringing the broadcast industry up to par with the best practices from around the world.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said the directive becomes necessary following the submission of the report of the committee which he set up to work out the modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.
”Following my satisfaction with the report which was very professional and detailed, I wish to direct the Commission to take the necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various provisions therein. This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring; Independence of the Regulator and ease of issuing Licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues,” he said.
Major highlights of the Minister’s directive include new regulations to compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers, in fulfillment of the regulatory requirements for 70% local content, rather than the current abuse of the rules
which allow many loopholes for the production of such content in jurisdictions outside Nigeria. This will empower local producers with proper funding and investment, enhance foreign collaborations, develop the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and ultimately lead to job creation.
The new regulations will also ensure that producers of content are paid promptly for adverts and sponsored content placed on all TV, radio and broadcast platforms, ensure that the production of adverts are localized to create and promote local production and, where it is not, to attract a charge every time such an advert is aired, with the charge being put into a fund to help develop local expertise in production.
For musical content, a new regulation will ensure that broadcasters are prevented from illegal and unpaid use of musical works without payment of the applicable license fees and/or royalties required by music rights owners.
Similar provision will prohibit exclusivity of sporting rights in Nigeria, as a new regulation now mandates broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.
”This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees,” the Minister said.
He expressed the confidence that the new regulations, which are due to come into effect this month, will re-energize the broadcast industry, deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry for the benefit of the practitioners.