FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5m

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THE Federal Government has announced that its newly- unveiled reviewed Nigeria Broadcasting Code has provisions to increase the hate speech fine for people found culpable of hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million. This is as it said the amendment of the broadcasting code is boosting local content, among other provisions.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the increased hate speech fine known in Lagos on Tuesday while unveiling the reviewed code, stated that the amendment contains the anti-trust provision aimed at encouraging the growth of the local industry.

The minister, who was speaking at the unveiling ceremony organised by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), aid the anti-trust provision would boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves, as it will also encourage open access to premium content.

“I must explain that this provision is not new to Nigeria broadcasting. Exclusivity was disallowed at a certain time in the history of our broadcasting. I recall Multichoice sub-licensing EPL matches to other local operators in Nigeria. I recall HITV engaging several local operators on sub-licensing the EPL when they got the rights,” he said.

According to him, the revised code contains the law prohibiting backlog of advertising debts in order to promote sustainability for the station owners and producers of content, as well as the law on the registration of web broadcasting, which will grant the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can harm the nation.

“The provisions on the responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies obviously mandates terrestrial and pay-TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at time of national emergencies – like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment,” the minister said.

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