NBC fines 45 stations, ‘cautions’ AIT, Big Brother Naija show for violating broadcast code
The National Broadcasting Commission has sanctioned 45 broadcasting stations which allegedly breached its code in the 2nd quarter of 2019.
The NBC Director General, Ishaq Kawu, made this known while addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the contraventions included breaches of the rules on hate speech, abusive, and inflammatory broadcast.
Kawu said the Commission’s Second Quarter Monitoring of Broadcast Stations Profile was from April to June 2019.
“Coming shortly after the National and State Elections in the First Quarter of the year, the report indicates that though there is a drop in breaches related to hateful, abusive and inflammatory broadcast, which peaked during the elections,” he said.
“Thus as many as 45 stations were fined, the 2nd Quarter indicates that the trend has continued among certain stations, especially in political programmes.
“Therefore, 20 stations were fined in the 2nd Quarter, for breaching provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code on Hate speech.
“Other breaches were in the area of Obscene and Vulgar Lyrics – a total of 10 stations were fined for infractions related to use of Vulgar Lyrics and Obscene Content.
“It is worth mentioning that the programme Big Brother Naija was cautioned against unwholesome content on its broadcast,” Kawu said.
According to the NBC boss, the use of unsubstantiated and misleading claims by advertisers, especially Tradomedic advertising, also dropped significantly from the last quarter, but that a total of 30 stations were fined for infractions related to same.
He added that ten broadcast stations were fined for breaches related to station announcers turning themselves to advertisers, hypers and promoters of product.
“Obscenity: Kaduna Zone recorded highest with 36.53 per cent followed by Abuja Zone with 17.31 per cent and Uyo Zone came third with 15.38 per cent.
“Hate Speech: Abuja Zone topped the chart with 19.21 per cent followed by Kaduna zone with 18.22 per cent and Maiduguri Zone came third with a record of 15.27 per cent while the least in hate speech was Ibadan zone with 6.89 per cent.
“Unprofessionalism: Three zones topped the chart with the same percentages. Kaduna zone, Sokoto zone and Uyo topped the chart with 20.00 per cent each followed by Jos zone with 3.85 per cent while Ibadan and Benin recorded lowest with 2.95 per cent and 3.44 per cent respectively.
“Unverifiable Claims: Ibadan zone recorded highest with 25.33 per cent followed by Abuja zone with 13.33 per cent while Jos zone and Kaduna zones came 3rd with 12.00 per cent each and Sokoto zone and Uyo recorded the lowest with 2.67 per cent each.
“Advertisement: Abuja zone recorded highest with 24.43 per cent followed by Enugu zone with 16.40 per cent while Maiduguri zone recorded lowest with 1.53 per cent
“For Technical Breach, Maiduguri zone recorded highest with 31.81 per cent followed by Benin zone and Sokoto zone recorded same scores 22.73 per cent each while Abuja zone, Enugu zone and Jos zone recorded the lowest with 4.54 per cent each.
He cautioned stations across the country about a pattern of behaviours which are a threat to the country’s democracy and rule of law.
He maintained that the Commission’s monitoring activities indicated that “some stations, especially African Independent Television are deliberately meddling in the cases before the election tribunal.
“It is trite knowledge that the media cannot comment on or discuss the details of any matter in court.
“The Broadcast Code in section 1.16.1(f) requires all broadcasters to comply with the law of contempt relating to matters pending before the law courts,” Kawu said.