The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been directed to start implementing measures aimed at re-positioning the broadcast industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave the directive on Thursday after receiving the report of a committee that worked on modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.
Mohammed explained in a statement that the measures were to sanitize the broadcast industry, create jobs, promote local content, boost the advert industry and bring the broadcast industry up to par with others across the world.
He said, “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.”
The major highlights of the directive include new regulations to compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers to fulfil the regulatory requirements for 70% local content. 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 content producers 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 cost 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 royalties required by music rights owners.
A 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 the reach and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, to grow their platforms and investment in other material.
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.