7th October, 2023
By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has given Lagos-based broadcaster, Arise TV what it described as a final warning over the alleged preponderance of incendiary remarks in the programmes broadcast on the network.
NBC which was saddled with the responsibility of regulating broadcast content in Nigeria gave the warning in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of Arise Global Limited.
The letter, which was made available to journalists on Saturday in Abuja was signed Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Shehu llelah.
NBC listed the alleged incendiary remarks made by guests on the recent programmes of Arise TV and how they violated the Broadcasting Code in the letter titled “Preponderance of derogatory and incendiary remarks: Final warning.”
The NBC boss said the letter followed the Commission’s notice with concern of preponderance of incendiary remarks allowed on Arise News.
“This letter once again seeks to underscore the tremendous responsibility put on the broadcaster to manage array of guests that may feature on the station from time to time.
“For the benefit of doubt, on Oct. 5 during the programme – ‘The Morning Show’, anchored by Reuben Abati, Rufai Useni and Ayo Mairo Ese, featured Oladotun Hassan and Dele Farotimi as guests.
“The programme contained unguarded incendiary remarks by Dele Farotimi against the legislature, executive, judiciary and Mr President.
“Similarly, On Oct. 6, the programme “Newsday”, featured Kenneth Okonkwo (Spokesperson for the Labour Party) who used derogatory remarks on air.
“Your attention is therefore drawn to the relevant sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code for compliance please,” Ilelah said.
The NBC boss explained further that section 1.10.3 says the broadcaster shall ensure that its presenter does not express his or her opinion in the programme, as a matter of professional standard.
He said section 3.3.1 (a) stipulates that the broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate
Illelah said 3.3.3 (c) provided that the broadcaster shall be above inherent biases, prejudices and subjective mindsets
According to section 3.3.1(e), the Broadcaster shall not treat any individual or organisation in an unjust and unfair manner in any programme.
The NBC boss further explained that section 5.3.3(b) of the code stated that the broadcaster shall, in using political materials for news and current affairs programmes, avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory, and divisive remarks of allusions.
“Section 5.5.6 says, the broadcaster shall have a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable content.
“Arise TV is advised to install a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable contents as prescribed in Section 5.5.6 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“Please note that henceforth, your station shall be held liable for any infraction on your platform and applicable sanctions shall be imposed as prescribed by Law,” Ilelah stressed.