FG RAISES HATE SPEECH FINE FROM N500,000 TO N5 MILLION
The Federal Government has raised the hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million naira.
The Government also mandated broadcast stations to devote time for public education and awareness on emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was announced in a statement by the Minister for Information and Culture, Hon. Lai Mohammed on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020, while unveiling the Reviewed Broadcasting Code.
According to the statement made available on the verified social media platforms of the ministry, Mohammed said the amendments were necessitated by a Presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the National Broadcasting Commission as well as the conduct of the various broadcast stations before, during and after elections.
The Minister noted that the recommendations were approved by the President, Major General Mohammed Buhari, to reposition the NBC to better perform its regulatory role in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour.
“The provisions on Exclusivity and Monopoly will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves. It will encourage Open Access to premium content.
“The law on registration of Web Broadcasting grants the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can harm us as a nation. Such harms could be in the area of security, protection for minors, protection of human dignity, economic fraud, privacy etc.
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“The provision on responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies mandates terrestrial and Pay TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at time of national emergencies – like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment.
“The provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to 5 million Naira,’’ the Minister said.
He added that the Broadcasting Code is not a static document, and that even the 6th Edition of the Code shall be reviewed at the appropriate time.
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