President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws to reflect stiffer penalties for violators of broadcasting regulations.
The President has also endorsed the implementation of reforms to end all forms of monopoly detrimental to the actualisation of the immense potential of the broadcast industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja while inaugurating the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Reform Implementation Committee.
Specifically, the minister said that the President approved the upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5 million for breaches
relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency
He said the Preaident also approved that wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station should attract suspension of license.
The minister said Buhari also approved the upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code.
Other approvals by the President according to the miniater are: “Ammendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria
“Recruitment of more monitoring staff for the NBC. At the moment, there are only about 200 Staff monitoring about 1,000 radio and television stations.
“Deployment of adequate monitoring equipment and technologies for the NBC and enhancement of welfare packages of NBC staff to avoid their compromise in the line of duty’.
The Preaident, according to the minister, said that the reviewed code must also ensure the Independence of the NBC from political interference in the exercise of its regulatory powers, particularly with respect to the
issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting license.
Mohammed said the decisions were sequel to the deliberations at the Federal Executive
Council (FEC) of March 27, on the unprofessional and unethical conduct of some broadcast stations, especially before and during the last general elections.
” The President directed me to institute an inquiry into the conduct of the stations and
report back to the Council
“Consequently, I inaugurated a five-member committee on Wednesday, April 10th 2019 with the following terms of reference:
“To find out to what extent the NBC was able to effectively carry out its regulatory role before and during the 2019 general elections.
” Recommend measures that could strengthen the NBC’s regulatory role and make it more effective.
“The committee submitted its report on April 24th 2019, with 26 recommendations, and I subsequently forwarded the report to Mr.
President, who has since approved them,” he said.
The minister, therefore charged the reform implementation committee to carry out a
thorough job that will re-position the NBC as a effective and efficient regulator.
‘We are now at the implementation stage, hence I have appointed seven ‘wise’ men and woman to design the framework for the
implementation,” he said.
The minister said that the terms of reference of the committee included the implementation of the recommendations of the committee on the NBC reforms as approved by the President.
He said the committee should immediately commence work on all statutory, legal and regulatory framework for further legislative action on the review of the NBC Act by the National Assembly.
The minister tasked the committee to immediately establish and publicise a new sanctioning, fines and penalty regime that is in line with international best practice,.
He said the new penalty regime would also help to promote professionalism and serve as a deterrent to erring practitioners against misconduct, especially hate speech, violence and spread of fake news.
Mohammed tasked the committee to establish and publish a new regulation for the licensing of Web and Internet broadcasters/International broadcasters in Nigeria.
He said the committee should immediately assess and propose equipment, materials and training needed to make the NBC a modern and well-positioned regulator
‘ The committee should liaise with relevant agencies to ensure the provision of the
manpower needs of the Commission to enable it function optimally
“It should work out the modalities for a competitive and reasonable salaries, wages and other welfare needs of the staff of the Commission
“Establish necessary protocols for the establishment or appointment of professionals or technocrats (non-partisan personality) to run the agency, and appointment into the board of the NBC”
The minister also directed the committee to end all forms of monopoly detrimental to the actualization of the immense potential of the broadcast industry.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the minister gave the committee chaired by Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, Director of Monitoring of the NBC, six weeks to submit its report.
Other members of the committee are, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, Acting Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON),
Mr Agbo Ndubuisi, Board Member, NBC and Mr J.K. Ehicheoya, Director, Legal Services in the Ministry.
Others are, Hajia Binta Bello, Secretary, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh, Director of Administration, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and Mr. Joe Mutah, Chief Press Secretary to the minister who will serve as the Secretary. (NAN)
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Buhari congratulates Gov. Bello on re-election
The President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, described the election and emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate as “a race well run and a victory well won.”
He commended APC supporters for remaining steadfast and resolute even in the “face of isolated incidents of violence”.
President Buhari condoled with families and loved ones of those who lost their lives as a result of regrettable acts of violence by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors.
“All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy,’’ he said.
He also enjoined the governor to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates.
The president urged those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election to approach the courts.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Returning Officer of the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had on Monday declared Yahaya Bello as winner of the election after polling 406,222 votes to beat 24 other contestants, including Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 189,704 votes.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Sadiya Hamza
Buhari congratulates Bayelsa Gov-elect Lyon on election victory
Buhari’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday.
The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in the State who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, notwithstanding the pockets of unrest recorded in some locations.
While condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the President commiserated with the families of the victims.
‘‘Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,’’ he added.
He, however, described as unfortunate that pockets of unrest, ”mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the poll.”
The President looked forward to working with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa, while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.
Buhari urged Governor-elect Lyon to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Ex-lawmaker urges Sanwo-Olu to prioritise rail development
Olorunrinu, who represented Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I in the 8th Lagos State House of Assembly, told the Nigeria News Agency that over dependence on roads was not sustainable for the commercial city.
He spoke against the backdrop of the deplorable condition of roads as well as gridlocks and urged the governor to prioritise rail infrastructure in the state.
Olorunrinu, a lone Peoples Democratic. Party (PDP) lawmaker, who later defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) barely a month to the end of the 8th Assembly, however, applauded Sanwo-Olu’s efforts at road maintenance.
“The issue of railway should be truly considered now, looking at huge funds that is annually voted for road construction and maintenance each budget year, yet no end to traffic problem in the state.
“Many of these roads don’t last again because of Lagos peculiarity and issue of water and flooding.
“Lagos State, being a metropolitan state, should invest in rail and water transport as solution to transport problems in the state.
According to the lawmaker, the state must move forward to developing rail having discovered that roads infrastructure had been overstretched and maintenance usually gulp huge amount every year.
“With rail, commuting from end of the state to another won’t be a difficulty again. It will be safe and cheaper for the mass majority of residents.
“We sincerely need to change our tactics in addressing Lagos road traffic. The speaker is right when he advised the governor to start somewhere in developing rail transport.
“We will get there someday. We must refocus and lay emphasis on rail,” he added.
Olorunrinu, who noted that people must get value for their funds, urged the governor to move fast in road maintenance now that rainfall had subsided.
NAN recalls that Obasa had urged Sanwo-Olu to give priority to rail infrastructure to develop the state at the budget presentation entitled “The Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos” by the governor.
The speaker had said that to indeed move the state forward, there was the need to focus more attention on rail to connect the entire Lagos.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
Air Peace signs firm order for 3 additional E195-E2 jets, worth $212.6m
Air Peace Airline says it has signed a contract with Embraer for three additional E195-E2 aircraft, worth $212.6 million.
The company said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that the contract confirmed the purchase rights from the original contract signed in April.
It said the new E195-E2s would be included in Embraer’s 2019 fourth-quarter backlog and the $212.6 million was based on Embraer’s current list prices.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN ) reports that the E195-E2 is the largest aircraft in the E-Jet E2 family.
It has been designed to maximize returns and efficiency on high-density routes with its high-aspect ratio wings and swept tips, combined with other aerodynamic improvements.
The E195-E2 achieves double digit lower fuel consumption compared to current-generation E-Jets.
According to Air Peace, the airline will be the first E-Jets E2 operator in Africa.
Air Peace’s firm order, announced in April this year, is now for 13 E195-E2s with 17 purchase rights for the same model.
It also said the first delivery had been scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
Speaking on the purchase of the aircraft, Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Mr Allen Onyema, said the E195-E2 was the perfect aircraft to expand the company’s operations in Africa.
Onyema noted that the new order was a further confirmation of the airline’s ‘no-city-left-behind initiative’ which the company shall continue to execute.
Onyema, also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Air Peace Airline, said: “We are receiving impressive data about the aircraft’s economics.
“We look forward to receiving our first aircraft, which will enhance connectivity in Nigeria and the African region, while feeding long-haul flights from our Lagos hub.
Raul Villaron, Vice President Sales, Africa and Middle East, Embraer Commercial Aviation, said Air Peace would love the aircraft’s efficiency and the passenger would also experience an unparalleled level of comfort, especially in First Class.
According to him, Air Peace is the launch customer for Embraer’s new premium staggered seating option.
“We look forward to supporting Air Peace’s growing E2s fleet and to deepening our fruitful partnership.
“That experience with Embraer’s products and services, including the pool programme, and the undeniable economic benefits of right-sizing aircraft for the mission, was a key factor in selecting the E2.
“Air Peace’s E195-E2s will be configured in a comfortable dual class arrangement with 124 seats,” Villaron said.
NAN also reports that Air Peace subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, started operating six ERJ145 jets last year on short thin routes.
Air Peace operates more than 20 local, regional, and international routes and has strategic plans to expand those routes.
Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats.
The company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft.
For the E-Jets programme alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,500 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
10th Chieftaincy Anniversary: Chidoka urges reconciliation with Obosi monarch
Chief Osita Chidoka, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said he was willing to reconcile with Igwe Chidubem Iweka, the traditional ruler of Obosi Community, Idemili North Council of Anambra and work for peace in the community.
Chidoka made the declaration during the 10th anniversary thanksgiving of his conferment of the traditional title of Ike-Obosi by the community at St. Andrews Anglican Church, Obosi on Sunday.
It will be recalled that the Chidoka and two other persons were suspended from the Obosi traditional council of chiefs for alleged sacrilegious act of ordering that dead bodies be taken to the Igwe’s palace.
The bodies were those of Obosi youths who died during the March 9 rerun election for Idemili North and Idemili South Federal Constituency.
Chidoka said he was solely responsible for the act and appealed that Chief Linus Mgbakaogu (Atta-Obosi) and Chief Hyman Udemba (Akamposi Obosi) who were suspended alongside him be excused.
He said he was moved to seek reconciliation with the monarch and peace in Obosi by the sermon of the day, adding that he had also forgiven all those who wronged him in the process.
The former minister of aviation who offered to go and mend fences with Igwe Iweka made true his word by going to the palace in company of the priest and Obosi prime minister and dignitaries.
The monarch was, however, not in the palace when he visited according to the guards on duty.
“What we are doing today is thanksgiving to God for all he has done for us, all we have achieved is not by our making but because God is faithful.
“We are grateful because in March this year, my younger brother, Obinna was running for House of Representatives, unfortunately there was crisis, people were maimed and killed in Obosi.
“God saw the purity of our hearts and restored our mandate at the Court of Appeal, so in line with the message of the priest, I want to apologise to the Igwe that he should forgive any wrong I have done him.
“I was alone in this and I take full responsibility, so Atta-Obosi and Akamposi Obosi should be left out of it.
“I am sorry and I have forgiven those who offended me, we need peace in Obosi,” he said.
Chidoka thanked his father who consented that he should be given the title 10 years ago, saying being Ike-Obosi came with so much blessing and also a burden to be a blessing to Obosi.
“My father supported me and agreed that I be made Ike-Obosi, that title made me to be the head of the family but 10 years after he is here with me in the church and my mother too,” he said.
Ven. Ikechukwu Ihemtuge, Arch-Deacon/Vicar of St. Andrews Anglican Church, who delivered a sermon entitled “Oh God Our Help in Ages Past”, said only fools say in their heart that there was no God.
Ihemtuge thanked God for giving Chidoka the grace to come on his volition to come and thank Him.
He urged parents to train their their children so that they could be people they would be proud of in the future.
“We thank God for what he has done in your live, not everybody has the attitude of gratitude, most people see themselves as self-made, only fools say there is no God.
“As a young man of 38 years, Osita was recognised as a Chief in Obosi Kingdom, not everybody get such rare honour, people carry money about looking for where to buy it.
“As a young man you were the biggest officer in Road Safety, as a young man you retired from active service when people are changing their names over and over, you also became a minister as young man.
“The joy of all these is that the good things are happening to him before the eyes of his father and mother, parents are encouraged to train their children so that they can witness the success of their children.
“This is just the beginning, you have done half of what God has destined for you to do, but please don’t take the grace of God for granted.
“I call on you to embrace unity so that there can be peace which brings progress, Chidoka you are a great man in this community, God can use you as instrument of peace, how that is going to be, I do not know,” he said.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
NiMet predicts sunny, dry conditions for Sunday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunny and dry conditions over the nation on Sunday.
NiMet’s weather outlook pedicted sunny and dry condition over Northern region with partly cloudy to sunny conditions over the Central region.
It further predicted few chances of thunderstorms and rains over the Southern region.
According to NiMet, sunny and dry conditions shall prevail over Northern region with day and night temperatures of 32 to 37 degree Celsius and 14 to 24 degree Celsius respectively.
“For Central states, partly cloudy to sunny conditions are anticipated over the region with chances of thunderstorms over Mambilla plateau during the afternoon/evening period.
“Day and night temperatures are expected to be 28 to 37 degree Celsius and 13 to 23 degree Celsius respectively, ” it said.
It envisaged partly cloudy to cloudy skies with prospects of thunderstorms and rains over some parts of the region during the afternoon/evening hours.
It predicted that the region is expected to have day and night temperatures of 30 to 34 degree Celsius and 20 to 25 degree Celsius respectively.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ali Baba-Inuwa
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