The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has said the new broadcasting regulations were not intended to gag Nigerians from expressing their views.
This is even as the NBC disclosed that the full details of the refoms in the broadcast industry would be published in the next two weeks for industry and public input.
The efforts, the NBC further said, would be put together and developed for further regulatory intervention by the government.
The acting Director-General of the NBC, Professor Armstrong Idachaba, while speaking in Abuja, said the new regulations were meant to direct owners of broadcast outfits to regulate their contents.
Idachaba stated that the NBC remained committed on its objectives of promoting broadcasting for national development.
“In the area of new regulations on content emanating from social media, let me make it clear that the NBC does not intend to and cannot deny citizens freedom of expression as entrenched by the constitution.
“The regulations are intended to mandate owners of distribution platforms to ensure thorough self-regulations, and the statutory provisions, that contents that will emerge from their platforms are not harmful content,” Idachaba said.
The NBC further assured Nigerians that it was all out to promote pluralism of ideas in the country, particularly in the broadcast industry.
“We are avowed to promoting pluralism of ideas, diversity of opinion and choice of content. We believe that the broadcast industry is critical to the realization of the economic potentials of our nation and in building national cohesion,” Idachaba added.
While adding that reforms in the broadcast industry will be implemented to the fullest, Idachaba called on Nigerians to always put into consideration, the need for social responsibility.
“Our broadcast stations have a responsibility to extol positive family values and promote a sound and morally-built nation. We must discourage contents that corrupt the minds, inciting comments, fake news and other harmful content,” Idachaba also said.
Commenting on the Digital Switch Over from analogue broadcasting, Idachaba urged Nigerians to watch out for a definite statement in the next three weeks.
Idachaba also said signal distribution infrastructure for roll out across the country should be expected to be concluded by May 2021.
He stated that in spite of the set backs witnessed by the commission, the Federal Government is determined to continue with the roll out.