Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved licencing of online radio and television stations.
Concise News reports that Mohammed said this move was part of wide-ranging reforms in Nigeria’s broadcasting industry.
The minister, who was sworn in Wednesday for Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ second term, made this known when he received members of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on a courtesy visit in Abuja.
This news platform understands that established in 1973, BON is a voluntary association of the chief executives of broadcast stations, both private and public.
The organisation was established to pull resources together for effective coverage of national and international events.
“I just want to use this opportunity to inform you that Mr President has actually already approved a review of the Broadcast Code that is going to take care of many of the issues you have already raised here,” Mohammed, according to his media aide, Segun Adeyemi, said while responding to a request made by BON for the review of the Broadcasting Code.
“In particular, the President has approved that WebTVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry.
“Mr President has also approved a wide range of reforms in the industry which, at the appropriate platform, I will let you know.”
The minister promised to carry along members of BON in the review of the Broadcasting Code.
“I have said it on many platforms that this administration is not about to gag the press. No! But we will appeal to the press to please self-regulate for the sake of this country and also for the sake of the industry itself,” he said.
Lai Mohammed seeks BON partnership
He appealed to BON to partner the government in the promotion of peaceful co-existence and cohesion in order to engender progress and national development.
“Today if anybody listens to what is being said on some radio or television stations, you will think that this country is at war or that Christians actually cannot live with Muslims, or that there is a dichotomy between the North and the South,” he said.
“I think we need to appeal to you to use your platforms for the unity and cohesion of the country.”
As for the Chairman of BON, Godfrey Ohuabunwa, he pledged the readiness of the broadcasting body to key into the government’s agenda.