NBC threatens to sanction erring broadcast stations


WORRIED by the high level of hate speeches, personality attacks and demonizing documentaries in the nations broadcasting landscape, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has threatend to sanction some broadcast stations for contravening the National Broadcasting code.

Director General of NBC, Mr Emeka Mba who gave the warning at a one day  broadcast stakeholders meeting Tuesday in Abuja said that the sanctions may come in form of fine, suspension or outright revocation of licenses.

But for the pioneer Director General of the NBC, Tom Adaba , the sanctions will be coming too late as he expected the sanctions to have been done long ago.

Adaba opined that looking at the severity of the breach of the National Broadcasting code by some stations in recent times, NBC would have temporarily revoke the licenses or suspend the stations involved.

But Mba who lamented that in the build-up to the 2015 general elections, some broadcast stations have mortgaged their conscience and professionalism noted that the commission has been inundated with complaints from the public on advertisements, comments and documentaries been aired on some of the television stations.

He observed that a committee has been set up to look at the complaints and prescribe appropriate sanctions.

He said, “No matter what politicians do, we need to remember that the broadcasting industry has a role to bring the people together ourselves responsible . Must ensure that they abide by the Nigerian Broadcasting Code. Be guided by the would apply sanctions on stations that contravene the code either by Suspension or revocation of licences of stations involved. Politicians will do all they do but by the end of the day, Should be guided by the provisions of the code have promoted so much hatred and distrust and violence through our broadcasting. As broadcasters, we have responsibility beyond political parties or any interest group, our major responsibility is to our nation”.

Tom Adaba stated that serious damage has been done to the integrity of broadcasting by the recent conduct of broadcast stations in political broadcast.

He said, “We cannot afford to make broadcasting a disgrace to the nation, professionals have the responsibility to tell politicians what should go on air and if they fail to do that, then they are a disappointment. The type of adverts we see on the screen draws us down to the mud, they are unedifying. We need to take stock and have a sense of direction. One thing that clearly indicates that we lack a sense of direction is that politics will come and go but broadcasting will continue.

Adaba asked, “How are we going to continue with this spirit of hatred we are creating in the elections. Let me ask, the people you have run down and made nonsense of, supposing that they win, what do you do? Why can’t we begin to work on some soft landing for both the victor and the vanquished? At the end of the day, all these people that are contesting for the elections are all Nigerians wanting to serve Nigeria. Why must they be run down? What has happened to our values. As a people, there is no culture in Nigeria that says it has no respect for elders, there is no religion in this country that says you should not honour the elders or those in leadership positions.

According to him, ” The two major contestants fits very aptly into leadership and into elder statesman, why should we then run them down, up to the point of equating one of them with animal, it is disgusting and disgraceful. Politics and politicians will come and go but what will remain of the future of the various broadcast stations? If we sew hatred, we will reap hatred.  We should take steps to correct the mistakes we have made by taking a second look at what we have done and turn a new leaf”.

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