Media Practitioners Task New NBC DG On Professionalism


Media practitioners have raised the need for professionalism in the Commission to change the industry’s narrative following the recent appointment of Charles Ebuebu as the new Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Recall that NBC had faced public backlash in recent times over the imposition of fines on some broadcast stations. This development has led to the call for a review of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.

Speaking at the just concluded Africast 2023, Ebuebu noted the commission would focus on creating an enabling environment for the entire value chain with regulations designed to encourage investment, drive creativity and promote healthy competition.

In an interview with The Guardian, Executive Secretary, the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Yemisi Bamgbose, nudged the DG to call a meeting of critical stakeholders in broadcasting to take a holistic review of developments in broadcasting including digitisation, spectrum, licensing and code.

To him, “stakeholders will analyse, critique, and offer concrete suggestions that will reposition broadcasting in Nigeria to meet international standards.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the Executive Director Institute for Media and Society (IMS), Akin Akingbulu, said there is a need to improve the welfare of members of staff of the commission; give attention to infrastructure in terms of operational facilities and provide a good working environment.

Akingbulu added there is need to share industry data to strengthen public accountability.

He also said it is important to strengthen stakeholders engagement, improve funding for the regulator to effectively do its job, give attention to the Digital Switch Over programme, prioritise legislative reform of the NBC Act and speedy review of Nigerian Broadcasting Code, which must involve all stakeholders.

On her part, lecturer Department of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Ngozi Comfort Omojunikanbi, advised the new DG to empower the organisation to widen the range of stories it covers, making sure it represent a broad spectrum of voices and opinions that reflect the diversity of the nation.

She added, “the Director General can prioritise initiatives that inform and engage citizens with policy and issues that directly affect them to increase understanding, buy-in, and engagement. He can focus on increasing access to the news content of the NBC to those living in remote and rural areas of the nation.”

Specifically, she noted the DG could also ensure accurate, unbiased and non partisan reporting to ensure that citizens receive the most accurate news available.

In conclusion, the don stated the DG could strive to bridge the divide that may have been formed along political, geographic, or other lines.

She said, “the Director General can create an environment of trust in the news that will help to positively shape the narrative of Nigeria.”

On her part, former Chairman BON, Saa Ibrahim, advised, “my only comment at the moment is I wish him well. I pray that he succeeds in his new assignment. I hope he will take the broadcast industry to greater level.”

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