NewsNational Broadcasting Commission Fine Four Companies for Airing Documentary

ABUJA — The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined four companies for flouting NBC codes by airing a documentary on banditry activities in the country.

Balarabe Shehu Illela, Director-General NBC in a letter he signed has threatened to impose a higher sanction on cable televisions over films on banditry and terrorism.

The regulator said their airing of BBC Africa Eye film “The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara” promoted “the activities of bandits and undermines National Security”.

He said the Media Trust Limited arm flouted the broadcasting code and was ordered to pay an N5million fine, stressing that the penalty is for the airing of a documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story” in March 2022.

Others are: Multichoice Nigeria Limited (owners of DSTV), NTA-Startimes Limited, and Telcom Satellite Limited (TSTV) are also to pay N5million each.

Illela issued a four-week deadline to the affected outfits to comply with the directive, stating that all four companies are expected to remit the fines not later than August 30, 2022.

“Failure to comply with this will lead to the imposition of a higher sanction as provided in the Code”, Illela warned.

He said platforms should not be used “to promote and glamorize subversive elements and their activities”.

According to NBC, the affected media outfits have breached the provisions of the sixth edition code.

“3.1.1: No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;

“3.12.2: The broadcaster shall not transmit a programme that incites or is likely to incite violence among the populace, causing mass panic, political and social upheaval, security breach, and general social disorder;

“3.11.2: The Broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a manner depicting that law and order are socially superior to, or more desirable than crime or anarchy.”

Recall that on October 26, 2020, Arise TV, African Independent Television (AIT), and Channels Television were fined between N2million and N3million for EndSARS coverage.

The regulatory body noted that Television stations have played a part in the escalation of violence across Nigeria.

Hassan Umar Shallpella (Regional Correspondent)

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