As NBC Holds 5th Annual Lecture
By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has enjoined the broadcast media to constructively make use of social media contents with great sense of patriotism for peace and unity in Nigeria.
The Minister said this on Tuesday, at the 5th National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) Annual Lecture in Abuja, with the theme, “Contemporary Challenges of the Nigerian State: Need for constructive Broadcasting”.
Mohammed who was represented by the Director of Communication and National Orientation in the Ministry, Mrs Priscilla Ihuoma, noted that the broadcast industry in Nigeria has played a pivotal role in sustaining the tenets of democracy.
According to him, “In recent times, our information space has been flooded with content that test the unity and peace of the country. These contents circulate within the social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms.
“Some of these contents which are mostly unverifiable find their way into the mainstream media, in the form of fake news.
“Accordingly, the broadcast industry owes it as a duty to Nigerians to use its platform to encourage productivity, patriotism, national unity and cohesion,” the Minister said.
He further stated that in an effort to make the broadcast industry robust, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide-ranging reforms, including the licensing of online radio and television stations.
“The President has also approved the review of broadcast code to bring it in line with current realities. It is important to inform you that the review will have the impute of all stakeholders in the broadcast industry,” he remarked.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman, National Broadcasting Commission, Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis emphasized on the need to again ponder at the power of the Broadcast media, which he said, can affect people’s thinking and behaviour for good or evil, adding that such a medium with monumental influence on society cannot be unregulated.
He stated also that the theme for this lecture, “Contemporary Challenges of the Nigerian State: Need for constructive Broadcasting” is quite apt, considering the fundamental issues that the Nigerian state is facing and the place of the broadcasting media in helping to address them.
“As you deliberate on these issues today, let us consider the positives of the broadcast media and endeavour to use it for the interest and progress of our dear country.
“I must not fail to state that, in all these years of existence, the NBC has enjoyed complete independence from both the Executive and National Assembly. We have also received support from these arms of Government”, he said.
For his part, the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Is’haq Modibbo Kawu noted that this year’s event is testimony to the vision of the founding fathers of the National Broadcasting Commission, as well as a tribute to the succeeding train of leadership of the Commission for the past 27 years.
He pointed out that the Commission endeavours to assist the Nigerian broadcasting community as well as the general populace that the industry serves, to come to terms with the realities of social existence, in the country, as the NBC makes an effort to address the challenges of underdevelopment and nation building.
In his words, “There has never been a simplistic formula to confront the hydra-headed challenges of development in any society. That is why the broadcaster has an obligation to conduct programming and news, as well as commentaries, in manners that would aid the efforts to confront the challenges that face the Nigerian State and society.
“The NBC’s endeavour with the Annual Lecture Series, flows directly from an overview of the work that you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We monitor, collate and analyze your broadcasts; we sift through the dominant tendencies and then lean on our knowledge of the interface between socio-political developments and broadcasting content, to determine the themes of our Annual Lecture series”, he said.
He further noted that the duty of regulating broadcasting becomes ever more challenging, as the number of stations being licensed to operate increases by the day.
He stressed that the NBC has to keep up with the growing number of licenses, amongst who are those who believe they should not be regulated, or who regularly air content that leave much to be desired from the perspective of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, adding that Nigerians have a right to quality broadcasting.
Recall that the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, was established on August 24, 1992.