Media organisations, personnel and workers who violate sections of the amended National Broadcasting Commission Act, which is still being considered by the National Assembly, will get one-year jail term, in addition to other punishments.
Akelicious obtained the Bill for the amendment of the NBC Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, which spelt out that the NBC now has powers to enforce jail terms on violators in addition to fines for breaching any of its provisions.
The bill which is going for public reading is an “Act for the Amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission Act, CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 to strengthen the commission and make it more effective for the commission to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria and for related matters.”
The bill seeks to amend the Section 2 of the Principal Act, saying, “The Section 2 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by totally deleting the existing Section 2 by replacing it or substituting it with a new Section 2 and 2A which shall read as follows;
“Receive, process and consider the applications for the establishment, ownership and operation of radio, television stations including; …online news; regulating and controlling the broadcasting industry; regulate digital based broadcasting such as online news and digital terrestrial television etc.”
Checks by SaharaReporters into the bill showed that another section stated that “any person who acts in breach of the subsection 1 of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to; one, a fine not less than the fee for the relevant licence; two, imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; three, both fine and imprisonment and four; forfeiture to the commission of the property, facilities, installations and equipment used for the provision and operation of the unlicensed service.”
The Act continues, “In addition of Section 9 of this Bill, the commission shall on commencement of this Bill establish a fund to be known as the ‘Digital Access Fund (DAF)’ and it shall be operated and controlled by commission in the manner prescribed under this section.
“The DAF Fund shall comprise of funds derived from the following sources; one, such annual fees chargeable” from the registered broadcasting organisations and agencies.