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Sources: NBC management not aware of when broadcast code was printed

Sources: NBC management not aware of when broadcast code was printed
August 05
15:36 2020

The top hierarchy of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) heard of the launch of the controversial 6th broadcast code on Monday like every other Nigerian: through the media.

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NBC insiders told TheCable that top management members were “shocked” to read media reports of the launch of the code in Lagos because they were not even aware it had been printed.

The newly amended code, described as an act of “economic sabotage” by Wole Soyinka, is thought to be the brainchild of Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, who is believed to be trying to pave the way for his chief consultant to return to the broadcast industry.

The code seeks to regulate content exclusivity, enforce content sharing and empower the NBC to determine prices at which content is sold to sub-licensees by rights holders.

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Mohammed said at the launch, which was initially described as a “press briefing”, that the code is “signed, sealed and delivered”.

“No invoice for the printing of the code has been received. We do not know where the funding came from. As a matter of fact, we were not aware it had been printed until we read reports that it was presented yesterday,” a top NBC insider told TheCable.

The source said a management meeting was fixed for Monday and was to be presided over by the acting director-general, Armstrong Idachaba.

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Another source said that members of the management were waiting for Idachaba at the meeting only to be told that he was in Lagos with Mohammed.

“Idachaba is doing everything possible to be confirmed as substantive DG, so whatever Lai tells him to do, he will do double,” the source said.

Invitation for the launch indicated that it was to be a “media briefing” by Idachaba.

Mohammed’s name was completely missing.

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“Did you see any member of the management apart from the acting DG at the launch? Importantly too, did you see any member of the NBC board? You couldn’t have. Does it not suggest that something was wrong, given these notable absences from an event to present a document as important as the broadcast code? It was the minister’s show. The acting DG wasn’t more than a spectator,” he said.

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