The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has appointed Balarabe Shehu Ilelah as the new director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The move follows the recent dismissal of the former director general of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, by the president. Idachaba was appointed on an acting capacity following the suspension of Modibbo Kawu from the position for alleged financial impropriety in February 2020.
This new appointment was announced by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement on Instagram.
Shehu Ilelah is a graduate of Bayero University, Kano and a veteran broadcaster who worked with NTA Bauchi before leaving Nigeria for the then Soviet Union as a journalist. His appointment as NBC director general is for a tenure of five years.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Umar Garba Danbatta is waiting for the Senate to confirm his reappointment as chief telecoms regulator for another five years.
Danbatta, executive vice chairman and CEO of the NCC, whose record was discussed recently during a Senate screening committee meeting, was applauded for his performance and leadership, which has helped accelerate the growth of the telecoms sector.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari announced his intention to reappoint Danbatta last month, pending confirmation by the Senate.
According to committee member Ibrahim Oloriegbe, the screening and confirmation exercise is in accordance with the Nigerian Communications Commission Act (NCA) 2003.
Danbatta said the implementation of NCC’s strategic eight-point agenda, which he put in place when he assumed office in 2015, provided the basis for most of the commission’s achievements.
He thanked the lawmakers for their support and pledged his renewed commitment to further accelerate the growth of the telecoms industry as the key driver of the country’s digital economy vision over the next five years.
“As a commission, we are committed to challenging our current achievements. Consequently, we are poised to work more with the National Assembly and other necessary stakeholders in order to ensure we take Mr President’s digital agenda for the country to the next level in the next five years,” he said.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has approved 65 new radio and digital television licences across various regions of the country.
This comes months after the president’s recent move to license radio and television stations, which sparked mixed reactions.
The beneficiaries include the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, which each acquired a radio FM broadcasting licence; the Nigeria Customs Service, with radio and television licences; Blueprint newspapers, which received a freeview digital terrestrial television licence; Rhola Vision Engineering, Leadership Group and Abuja Municipal Area Council, amongst others.
The NBC said: “Consequent upon the approval granted by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the National Broadcasting Commission has released the list of 65 successful companies and institutions of higher learning recently granted radio, digital television and university campus radio broadcasting.
“In summary, 43 companies have been granted FM radio broadcasting licenses, eight campus FM radio broadcasting licences, one community FM radio broadcasting licence and 13 freeview digital terrestrial television licences.”
However, according to the commission, there were no available frequencies for assignment in Lagos and Abuja.
The recent move by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari to license radio and television stations has sparked a mixed reaction.
While some commentators support the development, saying it will sanitise the online space and stop incendiary web-broadcast sites from fanning the embers of hate and division, others feel the move is inherently wrong.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, defended the move, which is part of wide-ranging reforms of the broadcasting industry. “Web TVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry,” he said.
Online radio and television stations, known as over-the-top (OTT) services, are accessed by most internet users today. The Nigerian Communications Commission is under pressure about how and when to regulate OTT players, which have been described as a serious threat to traditional telecoms operators.
Although the NCC has repeatedly claimed that it will not regulate technology, stakeholders have called on the organisation to look for ways to curb the growing influence of OTT players such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Wechat, Telegram, Viber, Skype and Imo.
Umar Danbatta, the NCC’s executive vice chairman and CEO, has urged mobile operators to restructure their business models to increase revenue in the face of challenges raised by OTT services.
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.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s media team has announced a weekly programme that will focus on the policies of the current administration, reports Gabriella Opara.
Weeks after the release of a documentary titled The Human Side of President Buhari, Abiola Olusola, deputy director of media in the office of the vice-president, has revealed that the show is set to launch on a number of TV networks in the country.
According to Olusola, the programme will promote the policies and steps taken by Buhari to attempt to ensure the growth of Nigeria.
The show, whose name and release date have yet to be revealed, will air on Channels TV on Mondays at 16.30, NTA on Thursdays at 18.30, Core TV News on Saturdays at 12.30 and Liberty TV on Sundays at 16.30.
Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag), has announced that Unilag TV will launch in February, reports Gabriella Opara.
Recently granted a licence by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, Unilag TV will be the first campus-based television channel in Nigeria. It will focus on research-oriented education and ease communication within and outside the university community.
Professor Ogundipe said: “The approval to operate a television station will improve our branding; we are bringing in professionals to help kick-start the station.”
According to the vice-chancellor, Unilag competed against 19 universities to win a US$5m grant from the World Bank in order to supply Unilag TV with a world-class studio, equipment and other gadgets. He also said the university has paid N10m to have its station licensed.
Professor Ogundipe also expressed his gratitude to the former vice-chancellor, Professor Rahamon Bello, and Professor Ralf Akinfeleye of the Department of Mass Communication for their work in pursuing the dream of getting a TV station for the university.
“It is now on record that the present administration signed the first campus TV licence and we remain deeply grateful to the president. The university is a brand. We want the university to be the research hub in Africa, and we are working towards being among the best three in the entire continent,” the vice-chancellor said.
Dr Olubunmi Ajibade, senior lecturer in the communication department, said: “We train people for the industry, so we are in the best position to attract the best hands.”
Unilag TV will air on MultiChoice-owned DSTV, one of Nigeria’s leading pay TV platforms, ensuring that everyone within and outside the country has access to the channel.