NBC: Resetting The Pace of Professional Broadcasting In Nigeria, By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.

The National Broadcasting Commission NBC is the regulatory agency of all broadcast stations operating in Nigeria, the roles it had played over time with successful leadership of the commission in recent times.

In the course of carrying out its regulatory roles both on local and foreign broadcast organisations, it took cognisance of the legal framework guiding the operations in line with the NBC code in Nigeria.

These ranges from professional misdemeanours of both staffers and the broadcast medium operating in Nigeria.

Both the previous and current leadership of the commission had campaigned vigorously on the need to toe the line of same practices in line the NBC code, operational guidelines in the country both for the foreign and local broadcast organisations.

Under the current management of Balarabe Shehu Ilelah in NBC, whose resume, experiences and exposures was predominantly with foreign medium and developed countries were both press freedom ,rule of law was near absolute and practicable with limitations, sounded a note of warnings on propaganda, inciting and sensational news, giving the peculiarities of the current dispensation in Nigeria.

The NBC leadership gave a matching order to both local and foreign broadcast organisations operating in Nigeria on assumption of duty in June last year, to desist from delicate reportage particularly on the activities of terrorists, bandits, kidnappings that suddenly had taking toll in the country, stated clearly that any medium of communication in the broadcast organisations/industry will be penalized for its inaction.

With Nigeria being overran by the activities of these dissidents in addition to the lingering operation of Boko Haram, ISWAP in the north east, with pockets around of their activities spreading around other geopolitical zones, the continuous reporting of the ugly development will give more credence, glorify their activities and subsequently overheat the polity, along with create more palpable environment/situations across the country.

Therefore, to nip in the bud the misplaced freedom of expression by the broadcast organisations, that may eventually lead to war as witnessed in other countries, the riot act read by the NBC was sacrosanct, as defiant organisations will be outrightly punished.

The harsh decisions was timely by the NBC management to address the growing legitimacy and patronage enjoyed by the criminal elements operating in Nigeria, going by an adage that says, ‘even in animal kingdom, they are rules.’

The unrepentant and firm decision of the NBC was not only to restore sanity and peace across the country, but to halt the idea of the country going to war at this point in time, as prevention, they said, is better than cure.’

With the new regulations handed down by the leadership and strict supervision being carried out by the NBC on the broadcast organisations operating in Nigeria, it became a norm in the medium, with few dissidents stations who are bent on creating disaffection, uneasy calm to the leadership of the country at all levels.

Taking cognisance of freedom of information FOI act operational in Nigeria, the NBC had warned vehemently against colliding with national interest, as the peace, security, unity and stability cannot be construed on the altar of free press, it stated that emergency situations like the current scenario, required similar actions.

Having issued series of warnings, reprimanded the affected broadcast organisations among others, the commission had no choice than to wield the big hammer on the obvious negation of the NBC code, by some broadcast organisations.

The recent decisions on some broadcast organisations in Nigeria and it’s foreign counterparts, the Trust TV, DSTV among others fined for 5M each, was the height of the negation of the NBC code by the affected broadcast organisations.

The continuous reportage of the activities of banditry, kidnappings and terrorists was already taking negative toll on the country with rising insecurity across the country, going out of the way to float a documentary was an attempt to further set the country on fire, in view of the recent developments and to further portray it negatively before the comity of nations and the international communities.

For NBC, the trend of continuous flouting of its code will not augur well for the country, rather than portraying both patriotic and nationalistic disposition towards resolving the global crises with Nigeria not an exception.

The hammer on the Trust TV , DSTV among others was timely ,so as to further nip in bud insinuations and instigations that is capable of setting the country on a point of collision with self induced crises orchestrated by unprofessional conducts of broadcast media industry in Nigeria.

Nigeria cannot condone self induced crises out of recklessness of some disgruntled professionals using the broadcast media locally and internationally to drive Nigeria into multiple crises that will result to war situations.

The Biafra situation of the 60’s was still fresh in the memory of average Nigerians, that witnessed the unfortunate incidence, as well as the unabated stigma in the public domain being managed by previous and subsequent Nigerian leaders.

The recent decision by the regulator of broadcast industry was the last resort by the leadership of NBC that will guaranteed a stable and virile nation devoid of deep rooted crises that may not stand the taste of time.

No nation thrives in atmosphere of insecurity, crises and other vices orchestrated by dissidents in collaboration with foreign mercenaries to push the country into a precarious situation.

The negative comments of the stakeholders of broadcast organisations and industry in Nigeria was not only a disservice to the country, but unprofessional conducts with its intention to destroy the ethics of the profession.

Nigeria as a sovereign nation, and cannot afford the continued patronage of these group of broadcast media ‘abberant’ with the intentions to destroy the fabric of the thriving system in all areas.

All hands must be on deck to support the NBC under the leadership of Balarabe Shehu Ilelah whose exposures, experiences, and practices in both local and foreign broadcast medium was beyond sentiments and laced with modest professional conducts.



Yusuf is a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Abuja, All inquiries to: [email protected].

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