Thursday, 28 May 2020 04:47

NBC imposes sanctions on 31 broadcast stations over ‘unverified’ virus claims

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National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), yesterday, sanctioned three broadcast stations for violating the code for unverifiable claims and lack of professionalism in the broadcast of Covid-19.

The erring stations are Breez FM, Akure, fined N250,000; Adaba FM, Akure, fined N500,000 and Albarika FM, Illorin, N250,000.

The  commission in its first quarterly report for 2020  said its hammer fell on 28 stations for violating areas of the NBC Code dealing with obscenity, political breaches, hate speech, unprofessionalism, unverifiable claims, advertisement, and technical issues.

NBC acting Director-General, Mr Armstrong Idachaba, while briefing journalists in Abuja said the sanctions were the outcome of the first quarterly profile of broadcasting stations in the country.

“On the coverage and reportage of Covid-19, three broadcasting stations were specifically sanctioned for violating the code for unverifiable claims and lack of professionalism,” Idachaba said.

He, however, re-emphasised that all broadcasters must adhere strictly to the provisions of Nigeria Broadcasting Code and National Broadcasting Act CAP N11 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

In the area of digital switch over, Idachaba said NBC is considering a new licence fee regime and broadcast signal distributor carriage fees for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) operators.

“The new rates would affect National Free-View DTT; Regional Free-View DTT; Local Free-View DTT. The Committee expects all licensed DTT operators to commence payment of the new fees, which are lower than the fees in the analogue era,” Idachaba said.

On the reform of NBC, Idachaba said consequent upon the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, the commission conducted a public presentation of the Amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to stakeholders.

“I am glad that the work is ready now and the commission has published the provisions of the Amendment of the Code,” Idachaba said.