The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has charged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to come up with regulations for the broadcast of content on the Internet and the Web.
He however told the commission that the regulations must not in any way gag the press or hinder their universal role of providing valuable information to the citizenry.
The Minister made the statement in Abuja on Tuesday when he received the report of the NBC Reforms Implementation Committee from the Chairman, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba.
“Some 27 years into the life of the NBC, there is the need to re-evaluate the applicability of some of its laws. Following the implementation framework presented to me, I will immediately commence the process of forwarding an Executive Bill for consideration of the Federal Executive Council and further legislative action.
“The Bill will address the existing lacuna in the areas of the regulation of the Internet, the ongoing Digital Switch Over, Digital Access Fee, and insulation of the regulator from partisan politics,” he said.
He added that in line with a presidential approval, the Commission has been mandated to amend the Broadcasting Code to reflect the upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency while willful repeat of infractions on three occasions, after levying fine on a station, will attract suspension of license.
“The NBC should immediately upgrade the breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code,” Mohammed stated.