NBC code to protect Citizens – Idachaba voices out.

A former acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, says the importance of the code of the NBC is basically to protect broadcast programme consumers from harm and not targeting revenue generation.

Idachaba called for improvement in dialogue between media houses, practitioners, and the commission, saying, it became necessary to improve broadcasting practice in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, Idachaba stated this while speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during the investiture of Victor Mark as the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Laderin/Hilltop,
on a theme, ‘Finding a Balance Between the Broadcast Code and Making a Commercial Radio Station Thrive in Present Nigeria’.

He submitted that the review of the NBC code every four years has always been an opportunity for negotiations and new arguments.

The former NBC boss revealed that there are about 33.5 million homes in Nigeria with access to television sets and programmes.

He went on to say that the country’s large television audience must be protected, even as they tout the country as the “pleasure of every investor.”

He urged practitioners to always convey the facts in a fair and useful manner to all in order to foster better friendships.

He said, “After a cursory study of provisions of the code, I have identified over 20 provisions in the guideline which sort of restrict, or restrain commercialization of broadcast contents.

“As you can also see from the earlier provisions of the code which we read, the provisions of the code are actually meant to protect society from harm; it is also intended to protect rights of citizens to a peaceful and fair right to living in line with tenets of Rotary International.

“My submission therefore will be the need for increased dialogue between the media community and the regulator every four years. There is an opportunity for the review of the broadcasting code. It has always been an opportunity for negotiations and new arguments.

Idachaba added that sporting rights and alcoholic advertising rules were also allowed for-profit, warning, however, that “profit motive must tally with core values.”

“I knew for instance when the time allotted for advertising was increased by the NBC on account of demands from operators, similarly sporting rights, alcoholic advertising rules were allowed for profit but profit motive must tally with the core values of the Rotary.

“Nigeria is a delight of every investor due to her population size. She has a population of about 200 million people with about 33.5 million TV homes. This population consumes broadcast contents in one form or the other, thereby constituting a large broadcast market. This major advantage of large scale of the media industry in Nigeria is a factor to be considered in assessing the viability of broadcast stations in Nigeria,” Idachaba added.

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