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Lai Mohammed Inaugurates NBC Governing Board, Says DSO Is A Legacy Project

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Lai Mohammed Inaugurates NBC Governing Board, Says DSO Is A Legacy Project

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday inaugurated the reconstituted governing board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The Minister while commissioning the board in Abuja, urged the commission and its leaders to be awake to their responsibilities.

Mohammed told the board to see their appointment as a call to service and do it to the best of their abilities in serving their fatherland.

He charged the board not to interfere unnecessarily in the day-to-day running of the commission, reminding the members that their primary role is to formulate policies that will guide the running of the commission.

In his words, “I am delighted to be here and I join the Permanent Secretary to welcome you all to this inauguration.

“I wish to most sincerely congratulate you on your appointment into the Governing Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. Your appointment is a call to service, and I am sure you will all live up to expectations.

“Please note that the role of the board of any organization is to formulate policies, and NOT to engage in the
day-to-day running of the organization. The Board is to evolve strategic ways of supporting the commission so it can most effectively deliver its mandate. I, therefore, enjoin you all to maintain a cordial relationship with the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission to engender a smooth working relationship.”

Speaking further, the Minister stressed the huge task before the NBC which is the effort to transition the broadcast industry from analogue to digital broadcasting – Digital Switch Over (DSO)

He said while the target in ensuring the switch has been delayed for some reasons, the Ministry is still working hard to ensure the completion which he described as a legacy project, and urged the members of the NBC governing council to join hands in making it a reality.

“The most important task facing NBC today is to successfully transition the broadcast industry from analogue to digital broadcasting, through the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project. While the NBC is the implementing agency for this all-important project, a Ministerial Task Force on DSO, under my chairmanship, is driving the project. As a quick background information, we launched the pilot phase of the project in Jos, Plateau State, on 30 April 2016 and,
since then, we have launched the DSO here in the Federal Capital Territory, as well as in Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu, Osun, Lagos and Kano states.

“We have an ambitious plan to fast-track the DSO this year by launching it in at least two states every month. Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet this target. But we are working hard to resume the DSO launch as soon as possible. I urge you all to buy into this project to ensure that NBC is able to deliver on what we perceive
as a legacy project – because it will change the face of broadcasting in Nigeria.”

The Minister warned media houses in the country about proper conduct in the build-up to, during, and after the 2023 general elections.

He stressed that a lot of media houses in Nigeria fell short of expectations during the 2019 general elections by engaging in and allowing inciting broadcasts.

Mohammed however warned that such would not be allowed in the 2023 elections and any media outlet found guilty risks NBC sanctions including possible revocation of its broadcast license.

“Also, please note that as we move closer to the 2023 general elections, the NBC will come under increasing pressure to step up its regulatory role to prevent a repeat of what transpired before, during and after the 2019 general elections, when some broadcast stations threw caution to the wind and engaged in inciting, incendiary and unprofessional broadcasts. It is important for the Commission to ensure that its licensees adhere strictly to the tenets of the Broadcasting Code,” he added.

After the Minister’s speech, the oath of office was administered on the new board members of the NBC by the Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.