The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is reportedly set to be the agency that will license and regulate social media platforms, online news outlets and content creators in the country.
Naija News learned that the proposed amendment is part of the NBC Act Amendment Bill that will be reintroduced as an executive bill in the National Assembly by the Federal Government.
Recall that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, is reportedly set to relaunch a fresh bid for the regulation of social media in the country.
Mohammed is making moves to reintroduce the NBC Act amendment bill which seeks to empower the commission with the power to regulate social media, internet broadcasting, fix tariffs for pay television services, among other functions.
The proposed amendment of Section 2 of the NBC Act 2004 seeks to give NBC power to the backend of social media platforms and online content providers for “easy facilitation of complaint resolution”.
The amendment for section 2 of the Act reads: “Section 2 subsection 1 (b) (iii) To read ‘Social media platforms, online content providers and any other online content distribution.
“Section 2 subsection 1 (d) should read ‘Regulating and controlling the broadcasting industry; including social media platforms, online content providers, satellite TV, digital services and any other medium of distribution.”
In a 15-page document obtained by TheCable, the federal government seeks to give NBC power to license and regulate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Triller and Snapchat.
Also, NBC will be able to license and sanction online content creators such as Mr Macaroni, Broda Shaggi, Tao Ma, Johs2funny, Lasisi, Kiekie and a host of other providers. The commission will also be in control of movie streaming sites like IrokoTV, IbakaTV and others.
Through the proposed amendment, the commission will also be able to license and regulate online news platforms such as Naija News, TheCable, Premium Times, HumAngle, SaharaReporters, Daily Post and others.
The validity of the licence in the first instance is for a period of two years, and when the licence expires, the commission will consider an application for renewal based on “compliance to the terms and conditions of the licence” as formulated by the commission.
Also, the proposed amendment seeks to confer on the NBC and investigative agencies the power to request the personal information of social media users with or without court orders.
It also seeks to compel social media platforms to release such user information as requested by the NBC or investigative agencies within a period of seven days.
The bill states that the commission or investigative agency may in the face of national security request the personal information of a user of any social media platform.
The proposal also states that when the commission or an investigative agency is making a user information request for investigation, it may on the basis of court authorisation make such a request from social media platforms and online content providers.