President Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide ranging reforms in the broadcasting industry, including licensing of online radio and television stations, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said yesterday.
Mr Mohammed told a delegation of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) that visited him in Abuja that “WebTVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry.”
He was responding to a request by BON for the review of the Broadcasting Code.
Government, according to him, was committed to repositioning the sector.
“Mr. President has already approved a review of the Broadcast Code to take care of many of the issues you have raised here,” he said.
He promised to give details of the wide range of reforms in the industry at “the appropriate platform.”
The minister, who promised to carry along members of BON in the review of the Broadcasting Code, restated the commitment of the present administration to a free media.
“I have said it on many platforms that this administration is not about to gag the press.
“No! But we will appeal to the press to please self-regulate itself for the sake of this country and also for the sake of the industry itself,” he said.
Mohammed also appealed to BON to partner the government in the promotion of peaceful co-existence and cohesion in order to engender progress and national development.
He said: ”Today, if anybody listens to what is being said on some radio or television stations, you would think that this country is at war or that Christians actually cannot live with Muslims, or that there is a dichotomy between the North and the South.”