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Hate Speech: FG Directs NBC to Sanction Erring Stations

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Federal government has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction any radio or television station that broadcasts hate speech, as part of efforts to stem the growing tide of hate speech in the country.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, issued the directive in Abuja on Thursday at the 3rd Annual Lecture Series of the NBC, which also coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the Commission.

“As a matter of fact, the challenges facing the NBC have never become more daunting, considering the increasing propensity of some radio and television stations across the country to turn over their platforms to the purveyors of hate speech. It is the responsibility of the NBC to put these broadcast stations in check before they set the country on fire.

“As the NBC celebrates what is a milestone – a quarter of a century – in its existence, I urge the Commission to redouble its efforts in discharging its mandate. The NBC must ensure a strict adherence to the Broadcasting Code, and errant stations must be sanctioned accordingly to serve as a deterrent. The nation looks up to the NBC to restore sanity to the broadcast industry. The Commission cannot afford to do any less at this critical time. It cannot afford to fail the nation,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed, who cited the ignominious role played by a radio station in fueling the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which led to the loss of over 800,000 lives in 100 days, charged the NBC not to allow the purveyors of hate speech to lead Nigeria to the path of destruction.

“If you tune into many radio stations, for example, you will be shocked by the things being said, the careless incitement to violence and the level of insensitivity to the multi-religious, multi-ethnic nature of our country. Unfortunately, even some of the hosts of such radio programmes do little or nothing to stop such incitements.  Oftentimes, they are willing collaborators of hate speech campaigners.  This must not be allowed to continue because it is detrimental to the unity and well-being of our country,” he warned.

The Minister re-echoed the recent position of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo “that it is the resolve of the government that none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition or that can cause violence, especially because when we make these kind of pronouncements and do things that can cause violence or destruction of lives and property, we are no longer in control.”

He said the purveyors of hate speech are also deliberately giving the impression that the Buhari Administration has not achieved anything since assuming office in May 2015, adding, however, that no amount of hatred by the naysayers will obliterate the solid achievements of the Buhari Administration, under a most difficult situation.

“Despite operating with just 45% of the funds available to the immediate past Administration, due largely to the fall in oil prices in our mono-product economy and the failure to save for the rainy day, this government has achieved so much more in so short a time. To put things in perspective, a country that has consistently produced more oil than Nigeria, despite having about one sixth of the Nigerian population, is today embroiled in the worst economic crisis in its history. There is shortage of food, medicine and everything, and there is hyper-inflation.

“With Nigeria being affected by the same downturn in oil prices, coupled with years of monumental mismanagement of the country’s economy and the mindless and maddening looting of its treasury by rapacious public officials, why is Nigeria not in similar crisis as the country in question? My answer is simple: Because Nigeria has a President like Muhammadu Buhari,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

While reeling out the achievements of the Buhari Administration, he said the Administration has brought transparency to governance, with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) enabling the government to monitor its revenue and spending; the modified tax system improving tax collection; the agriculture sector producing food in excess of what obtained one year ago, and the government spent 1.3 trillion Naira on Capital projects in the 2016 budget, the highest in the country’s history.

“Does anyone remember the scandalous fuel subsidies that failed to deliver fuel to filling stations? What about the fertilizer subsidies that never guaranteed the availability of fertilizer to farmers?

Today, fuel queues are gone with the phantom fuel subsidies. Also, thanks to the resuscitation of 11 of the country’s moribund fertilizer blending plants, fertilizer is now available to farmers nationwide. In fact, 6 million bags of fertilizers have been delivered at 30% below the market price, 50,000 jobs created and the 50 billion Naira saved with the stopping of fertilizer subsidy, all because of the revival of those blending plants. Six more are expected to come on stream soon.

“The government is not done. Despite the paucity of funds, the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes are being implemented. The N-Power Volunteers Corps created 200,000 jobs in the first batch and 300,000 more will follow shortly; the Homegrown School Feeding is spreading from state to state, providing nutritious food for school children and employing thousands of cooks; the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is providing N5,000 monthly to one million vulnerable and poorest Nigerians; while the Micro-credit scheme will provide over a million Nigerians with small loans at very low rates through the Bank of Industry,” the Minister said.

Alhaji Mohammed said despite the cowardly bombing of soft targets, the Boko Haram insurgency is not in resurgence; and that the fight against corruption is unrelenting, with alleged looters forfeiting the proceeds of their ill-gotten wealth, the corrupt being unable to sleep easy while critical infrastructure like roads and railways are being delivered.

Speaking further on the achievements in the economic sector, he said figures just released by the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed a growth of 95 per cent in capital importation/Foreign Direct Investment in the second Quarter of 2017, over the First Quarter and added that Year on Year increased by 43.6 per cent over the Q2 figure in 2016.

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Nigerians Ask NBC to Compel TSTV to Come Clean

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Some Nigerians have asked National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to compel the management of new pay-television, TSTV, to come clean on its business plan for the country.

 

Daily Post reported ever since the TSTV announced its arrival and November 1 take-off date, there has been controversies surrounding its operations, despite earlier excitement about the arrival of the company.

 

It could be re-called that TSTV’s launch was grand, raising a lot of expectations.

 

However, the first major controversy came calling as FOX Network Group (FNG), owners of the FOX television channels, was reported to have denied that it has any agreement with the new pay-television service provider, TSTV, to carry its channels in Nigeria.

 

The position of FNG was made known in a statement signed by Jeremy Griesel of Jeremy Griesel Communications on behalf of FOX Network Group Africa, TSTV’s advertisement of FOX channels on its platform is inappropriate.

 

“Despite advertised claims regarding FOX channels, FOX does not have any agreement with TSTV regarding distribution of channels, but remains confident that TSTV will normalise the situation prior to the launch of its service to ensure the consistency between platform content claims and subscriber expectation,” FOX had said.

 

Following these developments, some concerned Nigerians have asked the company to come clean on its plan for the masses.

 

One of the concerned Nigerians stated that: “The new pay-television provider has been forced to move the commencement of its commercial operations to November 1, a whole month after it promised to roll out. Sales of its hardware also appear to have been suspended. This calls for question.

 

“These developments have no doubt left Nigerians in a doubt on whether the TSTV was indeed prepared to provide the needed competition in the Nigerian market.

 

“In a September 25 post on TSTV’s Facebook page, the company, responding to a question said it will broadcast the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League. But when asked about the frequency and the percentage of league games to be shown, no response was issued.

 

“A writer on the TStv Facebook page had called the attention of others to the fact redistribution of sport content is jurisdictional. beIN Max, one of the range of channels being offered airs foreign league matches in the Middle East and North Africa to Arabic-speaking audiences. The company pretended not to see it.

 

“As it stands, it appear that TSTV is trying to get in its excuses early in anticipation of failure to meet the stratospheric expectations it has created. It looks like a victim of its own success at failure.

 

Similarly, another Nigerian, Festus Igeniwari, said: “I maintain that the PayTV industry in Nigeria is a level-playing field for everyone serious and capable enough to offer Nigerians the best value for money in world-class content.

 

“First of all, it is important Nigerians realize that – as a rule – you don’t start off a marathon by sprinting; and when a claim sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

 

“So, we are calling on the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, to as a matter of urgency, tell Nigerians what they need to know as far as the TSTV if concerned. Let Nigerians know exactly what they have come to offer.

 

“There is a lot of confusion and we should not wait until things get too late before the right thing is done. “

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Gov. Ikpeazu Dangles Film Makers with N10m to Shot Films in Abia

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As part of the efforts to develop tourism sites and promote tourism potential in Abia, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has pledged N10 million as grant for any film shot in the state. Ikpeazu made the pledge when he received Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, the Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in his office in Umuahia.

A statement signed by Mr. Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs, NFC, in Jos on Friday, quoted the governor as saying that the production `should be 100 per cent shot in Abia.’

The statement said the governor charged film practitioners to improve on the quality of their production so as to compete with the global market. It stated that Ikpeazu promised that his administration would participate in the capacity building offered by NFC, saying that Abia played a key role in the revolution of the market and sales of Nollywood movies which has had multiplier effects on the nation economy.

“We have a policy to open up our market to genuine investors, private and public agencies amongst others through promoting `Make in Abia` instead of Made in Abia, proliferating more industries in the state,’’ the statement quoted Ikpeazu.

The statement said, Maduekwe had commended the governor for approving office accommodation for the organisation’s South-East Zonal office in the state.

It noted that Maduekwe said the gesture would create more employment opportunities for the youths, saying that corporation was also working toward establishing two more zonal offices in the North-East and South-South.

NFC currently has three zonal offices in Lagos, Kano and Abuja with headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

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Ikorodu Agog for Glo Mega Music Tour this Weekend

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The ancient city of Ikorodu in Lagos is agog already as the Glo Mega Music Nationwide Tour gets set to hit the city today.

It is the 27th edition of the 27 week-long mega concert that has gone round some of Nigeria’s major cities such as Awka in Anambra State, Aba, Calabar, Asaba, Benin, Victoria Island, Ajah, Ikeja, Benin, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ekpoma, Enugu, Kubwa, Abuja, Suleja, Makurdi, Lokoja, Anyigba, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, where the show was held twice each, Akure, Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode.

The Ikorodu edition is billed to hold at the Ikorodu Musical Village at 4.00 p.m., and will feature some of Nigeria’s most interesting musicians such as the new hip-hop sensation, Axterix, Marvin records queen, Di’Ja, scintillating vocalist, Kiss Daniel, the Nabania crooner, Flavour, the Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, Timaya, and the Nigerian king of pop, Tuface.

Globacom said that in addition to the A-List artistes billed to perform at the concert, the show will also be graced by Nollywood greats such as Juliet Ibrahim and Uche Jombo, who will compere the show, Patience Ozokwor, a.k.a. Mama G, Kanayo O. Kanayo (KOK) and Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) who will be there as celebrity guests.

It is the fifth of such shows happening in Lagos in the current tour of the show. Globacom said this underscores the importance it attaches to Lagos.

Subscribers willing to attend the show need to have recharged their phones with a minimum of N2,000 in the last one month either by way of voice calls or data usage. They then need to send a text message “MUSIC IKORODU”  to a short code 207. They will subsequently be sent a message inviting them to attend the show.

Those who do not meet the criterion are requested to visit the venue with N2000 to purchase Glo recharge card that will entitle them to enter the hall.

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