Written by 7:22 pm News, Social Media Views: 1

FG Revisit National Broadcasting Code, Raises Hate Speech Fine to ₦5 Million

The Federal Government of Nigeria has reportedly clampdown on hate speech, and have increased the fine from N500,000 to N5 million for anyone found guilty of the offence

The new development was made known by the Honourable Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed during a meeting in Lagos State earlier Today.

During the meeting where the new broadcasting code was being unveiled, the Honourable Minister also emphasized the need for broadcasting stations to dedicate more airtime to public sensitization on emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the new amendments which according to the Hon. Minister was necessitated by a presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections, which was largely addressed in a press statement.

The statement titled “Remarks By The Hon. Minister Of Information And Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, At The Unveiling Of The Reviewed Broadcasting Code In Lagos On Tuesday, Aug. 4th, 2020” largely addressed the newly revised Hate speech bill across all platforms including the social media networks.

Although a better part of the statement suggested an attempt by the Nigerian government to reform and reposition the NBC its regulatory role in primary areas that it oversees, the average individual in the country will now have a great role to play as much as corporate organizations.

Some of the areas that are affected by the new regulatory policy include political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour.

Quoting a section of the NBA Act which empowers the commission to establish and disseminate National Broadcasting Code, the statement outlined the following;

Exclusivity and Monopoly

“The provisions on Exclusivity and Monopoly will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves. It will encourage Open Access to premium content.

Registration of Web Broadcasting

“The law on the registration of Web Broadcasting grants the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can harm us as a nation. Such harms could be in the area of security, protection for minors, protection of human dignity, economic fraud, privacy etc.

Emergency Mandate for Terrestrial and Pay TV

“The provision on the responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies mandates terrestrial and Pay TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at times of national emergencies – like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment.

Hate Speech Fine

“The provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to 5 million Naira.” On this note, there was no clarity on whether the same amount will be paid by random individuals as corporate organizations. whichever the case may be, it is best to disengage from any of such practices to avoid worrisome tales.

Having stated clearly the new code of conduct, a later part of the statement suggests that the 6th edition of the broadcasting code is still open for further remodification giving its dynamic nature, and as such will be reviewed at the appropriate time.

ALSO READ: Hate Speech Bill: A ‘Call to Service’ for Nigerian Tech Industry

However, the newly unveiled code and the amendments will guide the regulation of broadcasting in Nigeria, whether online or offline.

Also, for the benefit of doubts, the concluding part of the statement added that anyone who has any misgiving about the new amendment to the 6th Edition of the Code should not hesitate to meet with the regulator and present his or her views, which if found valid will help subsequent amendments.

Meanwhile, the new amendment is different from the Hate speech bill that is currently pending in the House of Assembly, criminalizing a deliberate spread of misinformation on any social media platform.

Visited 1 times, 1 visit(s) today

Found this interesting? Share!


Welcome to Techuncode