The director-general of Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, has been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The move comes after the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) last year asked the federal government to suspend any government official facing corruption charges.
Kawu was arraigned last year before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of the federal high court, Abuja, by the ICPC. Along with Pinnacle Communications Ltd chairman Lucky Omoluwa and chief operating officer Dipo Onifade, he was charged with complicity in the misapplication of the N2.5 billion seed grant for Nigeria’s digital switchover programme.
Twelve charges were filed against the trio, including abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government.
Kawu’s position has now been taken over by the most senior director in the commission.
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.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of Nigeria held its fourth annual lecture last week, with the focus firmly on the broadcast industry’s role in fostering national unity.
Almost a week after celebrating its 26th anniversary, the NBC hosted its latest lecture on the theme of Broadcasting & Nigeria’s Ethnocultural & Religious Divide – Bridging the Gap. The conference focused on discussions about the broadcast industry and its nationwide impact.
Delivering the welcome address, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, director general of the NBC, stated that the aim of the lecture is to deliberate on the issues affecting the broadcast industry and how it can address the question of ethnicity and religious division in the country.
“Ethnicity and religion have become a recurrent and ever-present issue in the Nigerian polity. Broadcasting is critical to them. How we use the broadcast media can affect our ethnocultural relationship positively and negatively.
“Today, I challenge our industry to use the broadcast media to promote healthy religious propagation, religious unity, respect that is built on a faithful and credible religious foundation using our religious diversity as strength and not weakness. Our religion and culture should unite us not divide us,” he said.
Kawu further explained the role each broadcast company is expected to play in moving the country forward, particularly during the upcoming 2019 elections.
“I enjoin broadcasters to use their medium not for selfish gains but for unity and growth of the country,” he said. “We should promote healthy debate and give voters education and enlightenment so they can make informed choices.”
He further stated: “The broadcast media belongs to all of us. It is a sacred medium, not for abuses and hate speeches.”
Kawu disclosed that Nigeria has over 700 broadcast stations and the most active broadcasting industry in the African continent. He also said the NBC is determined to finish the digital switch-over (DSO) it actively re-embarked on in 2017.
The event took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, with a number of dignitaries and industry leaders present. They included the Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed (represented by Priscilla Ihuoma); Kashim Shettima, Borno state governor (represented by Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawon) and Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari.
Keynote speeches were delivered by Professor Isaac Mbachu, Political Science Nigeria Defense Academy; Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, national commissioner at INEC; and Dr Armstrong Idachaba, director of broadcast monitoring at the NBC.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is set to hold its fourth annual lecture this Thursday.
On August 30, the NBC – in conjunction with the Ministry of Information & Culture – will host its fourth annual lecture. This year, it is titled: Broadcasting & Nigeria’s Ethno-cultural & Religious Divide – Bridging the Gap.
The event is scheduled to take place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja at 9.00 with a number of dignitaries and thought-leaders expected to discuss the future of broadcasting in the nation.
These include: Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari; Kashim Shettima, state governor of Borno; Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information & Culture; and Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, director general of NBC.
Since its inception, the annual lecture is usually scheduled a few days after the NBC anniversary. It retains the tradition this year as the NBC celebrated its 26th anniversary on Friday, August 24.
During the celebration, Kawu addressed the commission’s staff, stating: “We play a vital role in helping to secure national peace and unity in our country and strive daily to license, monitor, regulate and ensure that all licencees walk the straight and narrow path of the Nigerian broadcasting code.
He continued: “It is a daunting task that we have to carry out on a 24-hour basis and the fact that our institution has gone to this height is precisely because the staff put their all into making the institution what it has become. The importance of today is part of the history of our country, the broadcasting industry in Nigeria and our role as regulator in the industry.”
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 Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has assured the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of its support for digital switchover (DSO) plans, reports Gabriella Opara.
During a DSO stakeholders’ meeting held last Thursday in Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, BON chairman John Momoh pledged his support to the NBC over its plans to ensure DSO nationwide.
“We are witnessing an era in which the broadcast industry is presenting great opportunities and at the same time facing some threats. Opportunities in the sense that the whole of broadcasting is changing from content platforms like Apple to OTT services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime through to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Momoh said.
“And so many companies are eager to get great content. This is where we, as broadcasters, need the support of the NBC – to ensure that it lays the groundwork for future success. The best way for us to invent the future is to put in place the best possible architecture and give the industry the freedom to thrive,” Momoh added.
At the meeting, NBC director general Is’haq Modibbo Kawu also pledged that all hands will be on deck to ensure the smooth sailing of DSO in 2018.
In a statement upon the launch, Nigeria minister for information and culture Lai Mohammed promised more DSO would take place within a few weeks across the states. He also said DSO would generate N100bn annually through the FreeTV distribution network, which has more than 200 channels.