Nigeria Code and Regulation of Musical Content on Airwaves
Maimuna Jimada, Abuja: The attention of the National Broadcasting Commission has been drawn to comments and observations in the media space regarding the fine imposed on Jay FM Jos for continuous airing of vulgar and indecent music lyrics in spite of verbal and written warnings to the station.
The Director General, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu wishes to reiterate the fact that the Commission has been very proactive and responsive in its efforts at regulating the broadcasting industry especially as regards to ensuring the Nigerian citizens’ right to quality broadcasting.
The Act establishing the National Broadcasting Commission empowered the Commission, to amongst other mandates in Section 2.1(h) to “establish and disseminate a National Broadcasting Code and set standards with regard to the contents and quality of materials for broadcast”. This, the Commission has done and because of the revolutionary nature of broadcasting, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code is reviewed every 4 years in a stakeholders’ participatory process. Information about the review of the Code is disseminated widely and participation is open to all relevant and interested members of the public. Consequently, the Code is a document which has the input of a wide variety of stakeholders. In addition, the Code is available on the NBC website and media pages and at our various offices located across the country. By Industry standards, broadcasting stations are mandated by law, to adhere strictly to the dictates of the Code and where they falter, the Commission initiates the sanction process.
The Director General hereby states that all actions of the Commission are strictly informed by and carried out according to the dictates of the Law and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. He notes that in other climes, artistes produce content in at least 2 versions, the broadcast version which follows broadcasting guidelines is deemed “fit for broadcast” and made available on broadcast stations and outlets. In such cases, the original version is still available through private channels not regulated such as on music streaming services or at private events.
The Director General therefore enjoins artistes to produce broadcast versions of their works to enable broadcast stations use them without contravening the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. In addition, the Nigerian artiste has a responsibility to the country. Today, popular songs of leading Nigerian musicians garner millions of views on YouTube. This indicates the level of influence they exert upon the young people who make up the majority of our country’s population. We believe our artistes should offer a positive influence on this young population.
Broadcasting is a creative medium characterized by professionalism, choice and innovation to serve the interest of the general public and is expected to influence society positively by setting the agenda for the social, cultural, economic, political and technological development of the Nation for the public good.
Is’haq Modibbo kawu assures all that the Commission will continue to execute her responsibilities without fear or favour and shall apply the relevant sanctions on erring stations whenever they violate the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.