Government urges probe of Big Brother reality show controversy

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reported ongoing Big Brother Nigeria reality show shooting in South Africa.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, asked the NBC to determine whether Multi-Choice has breached the Nigerian broadcasting code by shooting the show in South Africa, as well as the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would be staged outside Nigeria.

“As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,” he said.Mohammed noted that concerned Nigerians have inundated his office with calls to complain about what they regard as the anomaly of shooting outside the country a show meant for Nigerians.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice in a statement said there were no equipped facilities to shoot the programme in Nigeria, adding: “‎We have a fully-equipped house in South Africa which is used for the Big Brother shows. The house has played host to other Big Brother countries, including the general Big Brother Africa, Mozambique, Angola and now Nigeria. This means that we are able to achieve high production values whilst meeting tight timelines and ensuring the show comes to our viewers on time as planned, and with the same globally renowned quality.”
 
A renowned film-maker, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, expressed sadness over the development and described South Africans as ‘cunning and complex people.’

Another film-maker, Dr. Pedro Obaseki, said: “It is a total disgrace, considering Nigeria being DSTV’s biggest market and how our local contents (music, movie and dance) have transformed the cable TV.”

“If you look at the economic impact of the show being hosted in South Africa, money will remain in the country and even the entire workforce will be from South Africa. It will boost their economy while exploiting Nigerians.”

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Alhaji Lai MohammedNBC
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