The head of Gospell Digital Technology, Godfrey Ohuabunwa, has revealed that over N45bn will be required to allow digital broadcasting to take off in Nigeria.
Ohuabunwa, CEO and group MD, whose company makes set-top boxes in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, made the claim recently after his facilities were inspected by members of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) board.
He said the federal government is yet to release the previously approved N15bn to the NBC to facilitate the switchover from analogue to digital.
He claimed the delay in switching over could cost his company about US$50m, which has already been invested in human and material resources.
“If this digital switchover fails to take place, more than US$50m will be lost on our own side, not to mention by other people. On the job alone, we are going to lose about 5,000 to 6,000 direct jobs. This is why it’s a huge problem.
“We are worried that the delay in the NBC announcing its timetable is beginning to negatively impact on our production. We know how much resources, in terms of capital and human resources, we have put in for our dream to be realised.”
He urged the NBC to release a comprehensive timetable that will guide the digital switchover.
Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has asked the government to suspend the director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, and 32 civil servants over corruption charges.
The officials are currently facing a corruption trial for offences such as certificate forgery, bribery, making false statements, conspiring to steal and misappropriation of public funds, and the ICPC has stated that they should be suspended from office until the cases are concluded.
The offences the charges relate to are defined as specific acts “of very wrongdoing and improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and, if proven, may lead to dismissal.”
Kawu, who was arraigned alongside Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade over an alleged US$6.9m fraud as seed grant for the government’s digital switchover programme in May, is accused of using his position to benefit Omoluwa, his associate and friend.
The offence is punishable under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned it will sanction television stations that violate the nation’s broadcasting code.
NBC chairman Ikra Bilbis and director-general Modibbo Kawu made the announcement during the commission’s fifth annual lecture series, held in Abuja.
Kawu said: “The duty of regulating broadcasting becomes ever more challenging as the number of stations being licensed to operate increases by the day.The NBC has to keep up with the growing number of licences, amongst whom are those who believe they should not be regulated, or who regularly air content that leaves much to be desired from the perspective of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”
According to Bilbis, the commission is focusing on a number of initiatives to ensure broadcasting in Nigeria is on a par with the rest of the world.
“We must again ponder at the power of the broadcast media which can affect people’s thinking and behaviour for good or evil. Such a medium with monumental influence on society cannot be unregulated. As you are all aware, the NBC was established some 27 years ago. Its primary mandate was to initiate and promote private ownership of broadcasting in Nigeria, after close to 60 years of government sole ownership of the industry,” he added.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said that he would ensure the broadcast industry and information sector moves to the next level of prosperity.
“Let me reiterate that president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has great respect for the media and still continues to work with them as partners,” he said. “In recent times, our information space has been flooded with content that tests the unity and peace of the country. This content circulates within the social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms.
“Some of this content, which is mostly unverifiable, finds ways into the mainstream media in the form of fake news. I will enjoin the broadcast media to constructively make use of social media content with a great sense of patriotism for peace and unity in Nigeria.”
The Nigerian government has complained about the sexual content of reality show Big Brother Naija and has said it is planning a ‘state-owned’ version of the format with the show’s broadcaster.
The government lodged a complaint with the National Broadcasting Commission over the overt sexual content of the show and has said it and pay TV operator StarTimes will launch a new Big Brother Naija that will be a true reflection of Nigerian culture.
Segun Runsewe, director general of the National Council for Arts and Culture will present a nudity bill to punish sexual acts displayed on Big Brother Naija will be presented by the agency.
Speaking during a visit by the president of the National Council of Women Societies, Gloria Shoda, Runsewe said: “We are going to represent that bill. You can’t fight a battle without a legal framework; we are definitely going to be conscious of that.
“I will take up the issue of Big Brother Naija. I have spoken with officials of the National Broadcasting Commission because what is going on now is terrible. Having love affairs on the screen is not part of our own culture at all.
“Let me use this forum to tell Nigerians that a new Big Brother Naija is on its way and we are working with StarTimes. We are doing a Big Brother Naija that will reflect the true Nigerian culture. We are already working on it. All that will be eaten there will be Nigerian food, the dresses will be Nigerian dresses.”
Although Shoda claimed she had nothing against the show she said: “Having live sex on stage is the thing affecting my sensibility and it is impacting negatively on young children. Does it mean that they can’t abstain from sex for three months?.”
The University of Ilorin is to set up its own community television station.
Vice chauncellor Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem announced the plan at the 10th anniversary celebrations for the institution’s radio station and the launching of the book UNILORIN 89.3 FM @ 10 – a Decade of Broadcasting Excellence
Abdulkareem said the move would be unprecedented in the history of community broadcasting in Nigeria and was possible as a result of the success of the radio station.
“We can again be a trailblazer in campus television broadcasting, thereby adding extra value to the social, cultural and educational experiences of our students and that of the people in communities around us,” he said.
Adding that the radio station had met the objectives for which it was established, Abdulkareem acknowledged that it had also helped in the training of students across various departments at the university.
“I must say, proudly, that the steadfastness, purposefulness and professionalism with which our campus radio set pace in campus radio broadcasting is worthy of celebration today,” he said. “It has produced new talents through the opportunities it has been consistently providing for students to learn, in practical terms, radio broadcasting.”
Ishaq Modibo-Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission, who was also at the event, noted that broadcasting had vital roles to play in assisting in the achievement of sustainable development programmes.
He recalled that when the first television service in Africa was established in 1959 the vision of Chief Obafemi Awolowo was to use it as an avenue for assisting the free education programme in the region.
“It was a very important victory for all of us in broadcasting that Nigeria opened up the aperture of campus broadcasting, first from the University of Lagos and, subsequently, all over Nigeria,” he said.
“If we understand that concept in the context defined by the United Nations system, or as domesticated within our own realities, our national struggle against underdevelopment must be apprehended within the framework of the effort to attain sustainable development.”
The radio station was set up on August 13, 2009 and trains and prepares students for careers in the media as well as for community development purposes.
The National Broadcasting Commission has introduced the sixth edition of the Nigerian broadcasting code in an attempt to counter ‘fake news’ and improve professionalism in the country’s broadcast industry.
NBC director general Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu said: “The new broadcasting code will reposition Nigeria’s broadcasting landscape and also tackle the issues of hate speech and fake news that characterise the industry.”
Kawu added that the government was pressing ahead with its national digital switchover project despite a shortage of funds, with the process underway in all six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Once the national analogue signal is switched off, pay TV operators will no longer broadcast free-to-air channels. A new timetable should be expected once the commission’s board gives approval, Kawu said.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has resolved its dispute with Daar Communications, the owner of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.
The NBC has lifted the suspension of Daar’s broadcast licence, while the media group has withdrawn its court case against the commission.
The dispute was resolved via a meeting attended by Daar founder Raymond Dokpesi and and NBC director-general Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, as well as Nduka Obaigbena, president of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN); Ismaila Funtua, former president of NPAN; and Sam Amuka, publisher of the Vanguard newspaper.
The NBC had suspended Daar’s licence over breaches of its Nigeria Broadcasting Code. It also accused the company of a lack of editorial balance and said it had failed to pay licence fees.
Daar had countered that its editorial team was free to comment on the issues of the day under section 39 of the Nigerian constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference.
To resolve the dispute, Daar agreed to work out a realistic licence payment plan with the NBC and to appoint an ombudsman to ensure balance in its news coverage, especially when it comes to political commentary. It also pledged to take full editorial responsibility for the use of content sourced from social media.
The Federal High Court has nullified the suspension of Daar Communications’ broadcast licence ahead of a court hearing next Thursday.
The suspension imposed on Daar, which owns African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM, was imposed by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) yesterday but has now been lifted by the Federal High Court, led by Justice Inyang Ekwo.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, NBC director-general Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu said the reasons for the indefinite suspension included the airing of a presidential election documentary by the AIT, a matter pending before a tribunal, the inability of the company to pay its fees and the use of “divisive and inciting contents from social media.”
Modibbo said: “In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carries on as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the commission. They don’t pay their licence fees as and when due and their broadcast is patently partisan and one-sided and deliberately inciting and heating up the polity.
“The management of the company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.
“Recently, NBC monitoring reports on AIT and Raypower indicate the use of divisive comments accredited to the segment of Kakaaki, tagged Kakaaki Social, where inciting comments like, ‘Nigeria is cursed,’ ‘We declare independent state of Niger Delta’, ‘Nigeria irritates me’, ‘This country is gradually Islamising’ and other similar slogans are used without editorial control in breach of the broadcast code.
“Consequently, after several meetings with the management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning, the NBC took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”
Daar Communications had asked the court to order the commission to reverse its ban, claiming that it had not breached any broadcast code.
Justice Ekwo ordered the NBC, the Federal Ministry of Information and the Attorney General to appear before the court on June 13 to show cause why the motion from Daar Communications should not be granted.
The federal government is to release N30bn (US$83m) to fund the digital switchover (DSO) process in Nigeria.
Revealing the news during a briefing in Lagos, the director general of the National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Kawu, said the funds would be released in two batches of N15bn each. The government plans to recoup its investment from the proceeds of broadcast frequency auctions, he added.
“The commission has wrapped up the digital mapping of the country to ensure an effective DSO rollout,” Kawu said.
“For the past three months, the NBC has been in discussions with a South Korean company concerning the procurement of set-top boxes [STBs]. The firm has agreed to produce one million STBs in Nigeria and this will be a significant development for Nigeria in terms of being able to roll out in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Kano, which are the three major economic and population centres in Nigeria.
“There has been an issue of trans-border signal across West Africa, and therefore the NBC is rolling out in a manner that will not affect other countries. However, Nigeria is far ahead of its neighbouring countries in the roll-out of DSO.”
Charges have been filed against the director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and three others by Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Those charged include NBC chief Is’haq Kawu Modibbo as well as Dipo Onifade, Lucky Omonuwa and Pinnacle Communications. The charges relate to alleged irregularities in the award of a N2.5bn (US$6.9m) digital switchover (DSO) contract.
The suspects are to face trial on a 12-count charge before a federal high court in Abuja, although there is no date for their arraignment yet. The charges were filed by ICPC officials Henry Emore and Adenekan Shogunle on January 14.
According to the charges, Modibbo approved a payment of N2.5bn to Pinnacle, owned by Omonuwa, as seed grant under the DSO plan of the federal government of Nigeria, even though he was allegedly aware the company was not entitled to the grant.
This is an offence and is punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Act 2000.
However, Modibbo and Pinnacle deny the allegations levelled against them, stating that the ICPC has no knowledge of the entire process of the contract award.
Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has approved the issuance of new licences to broadcasting outfits in the country.
This news was announced by Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), at the opening of the 71st General Assembly of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) in Port Harcourt.
Of the new licences, 23 were DTT television licences while two were for national television.
Modibbo-Kawu said that, at 213 total licences, this was the largest number of stations ever licensed at any point in Nigerian broadcasting history.
“Our industry is opening up and the importance of broadcasting will become greater as a contributor to the economic fortunes. It is also a platform of moulding the values of national development,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NBC boss voiced concerns over reports of hate speech being broadcast on Nigerian TV networks.
Referring to a case study around the issue from the 2015 general elections, Modibbo-Kawu said: “The validation report from that study has been presented in Kano, Enugu and Sokoto. We will similarly present the report very soon in Lagos and at a big national gathering of broadcasters and other national institutions in Abuja.”
He also informed broadcasting outfits that they would be held liable for any violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. Regarding the ongoing digital switch-over, he said work had been completed on digital mapping of the country.
International broadcast business event Africast is under way in Nigeria, following an opening speech by Mallam Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The three-day event runs from October 23 to 25 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Abuja.
The 12th biennial conference and exhibition of Africa broadcasters was attended by many dignitaries and personalities. As well as Kawu, these included NBC board chairman Alh Ikra Aliyu Bilbis; Senator Suleiman Adokwe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values; and the Honourable Olusegun Dokun Odebunmi, chairman of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.
The event started with a speech by Kawu, who emphasised the importance of this year’s Africast as a platform to keep broadcasters abreast of world class exposition.
“Since 1996, the NBC successfully hosted Africast as the destination broadcast event on the African continent for broadcasters, broadcast regulators, communicators and stakeholders from all over Africa and the rest of the world.
“This 12th edition will host a varied participation of over 700 delegates from across the globe and provide a platform for world-class exposition showcasing the best in creativity, innovation and technological advancements in Africa’s broadcast and media ecosystem.”
He claimed that Nigeria’s digital switchover projects had improved the country’s broadcasting. “We have brought the digital television experience to 25.4 million people in those states, with about 3.7 million television homes,” he said.
“The Nigerian digital broadcasting experience has allowed us to unfurl an architecture that has enriched us in knowledge and experience. We now know better how to bring all the components of the digital switchover together.”
On day one, the first session of paper presentations was chaired by Barr Salihu Bamidele Aluko, a member of the NBC board, while the other speakers were Engr Edward Amana, chairman of Digiteam Nigeria, and Martyn Horspool, product manager for TV transmission at GatesAir in the US.
The second session was chaired by Haija Sa’s Ibrahim, MD of ARTV, and featured Ijeoma Onah, founder of NITV; Shileola Ibironke, MD of Micromedia Group; Abdulkareem Mohammed; and Seamus Gallagher.
Day two featured presentations, interactive sessions, masterclasses, discussions and plenary sessions.
The first session was chaired by Professor Armstrong Idachaba, director of broadcast monitoring. The presentations looked at The Changing Demographics – How to Serve an Impatient and Highly Mobile Youth Audience, by Toyosi Ogunseye, and Digital Future – Closing the Digital Divide, by Clint Brown.
In the heated discussion, Toyosi claimed: “Broadcast has gone through several transformations in the past. Those transformations altered our viewing habits. What we are now seeing is mobile transforming the face of broadcast, allowing several social platforms to compete for our attention.”
Former director of broadcast monitoring Mac O Emakpore chaired the second session on the topic Social Media’s Tsunamic Disruption of Broadcast News and Electronic Journalism, which was presented by Prof Gerard Igyor of Millersville University in Pennsylvania.
He said: “We have seen cases of rioting caused by misinformation on electronic media, most especially social media.”
John Momoh, CEO of Channels Television, said: “Traditional media must use social media for its own good. Social media is not good or bad, it is what you use it for that matters.”
A bill to amend Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act that would make the airing of educational programmes compulsory on all TV channels has passed through a second reading in the country’s House of Representatives.
The bill is co-sponsored by the Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun (APC, Oyo) and James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos) and is an attempt to promote the teaching of courses or subjects in accordance with the curriculum in schools and also to help young children master electronic learning.
Others who supported or contributed to the bill include Reps Mohammed Monguno (APC), Borno; China Adamu (APC), Niger; Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbinayinma (APC), Edo; and Chris Azubuogu (PDP), Anambra.
Faleke said: “It is an effort to tackle and salvage the falling standard of education which is currently a national concern and embarrassment.
“If amended, all television/radio service providers such as MultiChoice (DSTV), StarTimes, NTA and others will be legally compelled to dedicate one or more channels to educational programmes.”
A number of Nigerian companies will attend the Mipcom international TV programme market in Cannes, France next month.
The annual event takes place between October 15 and 18 and this year’s theme is The Big Shift: Transitioning to a Reshaped Media Landscape.
The title reflects the growing demand for premium content in all facets of the media industry.
Nigerian companies at the event will include Ascend Studios, Ayanwale Kehinde Enterprises, Chinto Technologies, EbonyLife Media, Gospell Digital Technology and Salt & Truth. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was meant to exhibit at the event but for reasons unknown will not be present, a spokeswoman told Content Nigeria.
Attending the world’s biggest entertainment content market will be industry leaders, producers, commissioners, distributors, media personnel, independent production companies, digital studios and brands and almost 2,000 exhibiting companies from around the world.
John Adewusi, MD of Lagos prodco Salt & Truth, said: “Mipcom is the ultimate content market for a producer, with many opportunities to collaborate and keep up with all that’s happening in the global content and production space. I will be there to gain knowledge, opportunity and, most of all, build relationships.”
Companies attending as commissioners will have access to top-level conferences, networking and keynotes events as well as the Mipcom world premiere screenings that will feature fresh content reaching the market.
Mipcom 2018 allows exhibitors to showcase their latest content. Adewusi said: “We will be there with our slate of content: a new format, a seven-part docuseries, a comedy series and a drama. These projects are in various stages, some in development, some completed and in need of distribution. We are there to present our stories to the world.”
Several conferences will be held where relevant issues like content creation, financing evolution, consumer trends, positivity of diversity and inclusion in the world TV landscape, content delivery and shaping the future of TV and entertainment will be discussed.
“Mipcom bridges the gap between the various levels of production. For Nigeria, it gives us local producers and creators a seat at the grand table, an opportunity to tell our stories and, with the right backing, assist us in amplifying these stories to the world,” said Adewusi.
Reporters for Content Nigeria and parent company C21 Media will be at the event, as well as the preceding MipJunior event on October 13 and 14.
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Nigerian digital rights body Paradigm Initiative has called for the removal of Modibbo Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), over a social media message.
The non-governmental organisation made the request through a letter to NBC’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo, claiming Kawu recently made provocative and tribalistic comments on a WhatsApp group that could incite hatred.
As Paradigm Initiative pointed out in its letter, the NBC monitors all Nigerian broadcast stations and sanctions them if they breach the national broadcasting code.
However, NBC’s director general seems not to abide by the same rules, Paradigm Initiative alleges.
“We do not believe that Mr Modibbo has the moral compass to continue to administer the affairs of the NBC. This country deserves leaders who not only promise the rule of law and the observance of democratic principle but also administer it, not only during office hours but every day of their lives,” the company said.
Boye Adegoke, programme manager at Paradigm Initiative, added: “Given the sensitive nature of Mr Modibbo’s position and role in the affairs of the NBC, it is highly unbecoming of him to be seen creating and promoting such inciting content.
“Not only are his actions inappropriate and unbefitting of a public servant but also unacceptable of the director general of the commission responsible for, among other things, regulating and controlling the broadcasting industry in Nigeria. It will be hypocritical for him to remain in office and continue to determine what is broadcast and what is not.”
Further details are yet to be disclosed about the complaint or any responses to it.
AIT, Raypower and DaarSat owner Daar Communications has claimed that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is exploiting its power by fining and shutting down broadcasters.
The NBC recently sanctioned Daar Communications for breaching broadcast codes by airing inciting and provocative comments during one of its programmes. The commission imposed a fine to the tune of N500,000.
According to Daar MD Tony Akiotu, the fines imposed on Daar were “unjust” and all broadcasting carried out by his company constitutes freedom of expression.
He also requested that the commission grant the company permission to begin operations again.
“As a responsible corporate citizen and licensee, we have paid the fines which to all intent and purposes are unjust, unfair and an assault on us. We hereby request that after due diligence by the appropriate officers of the commission and institution of the state, it will eventually be discovered that we were indeed unjustly fined, and the most honourable thing is to appropriately effect the necessary refund and restitution.”
Addressing the issue of inflammatory and partisan comments during Daar programmes, Akiotu said: “As an organisation, we do not bear any hatred for any government nor are we affiliated with, or an appendage of, any institution, political interest or group of persons. Our loyalty is to the people of Nigeria in particular and humanity in general.”
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a fine on Daar Communications Group over a breach of the broadcasting code.
The fine of N500,000 comes after the NBC’s recent warning to all broadcasters in the country over debts owed to the commission.
However, the penalty imposed on Daar, which owns AIT, DaarSat and Raypower, relates to provocative and inflammatory comments on political issues, according to NBC director general Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, who added that the broadcaster had previously been warned about such conduct.
Part of the broadcast code states that a presenter should not express personal opinions while on air, nor should they use their programme to support political candidates. Broadcasters are expected to be fair in all reporting.
NBC has the power to punish breaches of the code by sanctioning or shutting down broadcasters – as was the case with the Ekiti State Broadcast Service recently.
Broadcasters are responsible for ensuring that their on-screen talent are properly trained in ethics and the code of conduct.
NBC expects Daar Communications to pay the fine within two weeks of receiving the notification of the sanction.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned broadcasters that it intends to sanction those that owe it money.
Speaking at the NBC Summit held in Enugu recently, NBC director general Is’haq Modibo Kawu said broadcast stations across the country were in debt to the commission to the tune of N4.2bn (US$11.6m).
According to Kawu, this debt mostly stems from broadcasters that have refused to renew their licences with the commission but remain on air.
As a result, the NBC is ready to close down any station that is indebted to the commission or contravening the broadcast code by being involved in partisanship.
NBC recently shut down the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service, stating that it was involved in an unauthorised announcement of the Ekiti election results despite several warnings to avoid such acts, constituing a breach of the broadcasting code.
Nigerian regulator the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has shut down the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service (ESBS).
The closure of the broadcaster comes just days after NBC fined ESBS a total of N500,000 (US$1,380) for breach of the Nigerian broadcasting code regarding the appointment of a political spokesman as acting director general.
According to NBC, it ordered the closure of the state’s broadcast service because, despite several warnings, ESBS aired the “unauthorised declaration of the governorship election results by the state governor Ayodele Fayose,” it said.
Fayose is said to have also made malicious comments against the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Nigerian Police and the Department of Security Services while on air. These acts forced NBC to shut down ESBS until further notice.
In a press release, NBC emphasised that broadcast stations should conduct “proper gate-keeping and professionalism in all programmes transmitted on their stations.” If these warnings are ignored, NBC is able to impose sanctions on organisations that breach the Nigeria broadcasting code.
NBC also stated that social media is not a recognised source or platform to announce election results. Thereby, broadcasters are expected to follow due process, acting according to the nation’s broadcasting code.