Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has frowned at recent media reports which says that it granted a radio license to herdsmen.
The commission, however, said the National Commission for Nomadic Education duly applied for a broadcast license in furtherance of its objectives to develop and maintain nomadic education outreach programmes, including electronically-mediated ones.
The management of NBC, in a statement issued in Abuja and made available to our correspondent, by an Assistant Director in the commission, Ekanem Antia, called on all broadcasting stations to exercise restraint in the treatment of sensitive issues that could threaten the unity and stability of Nigeria.
The NBC enjoined broadcasting stations to be professional and take guidance from the Nigeria Broadcasting Code at all times.
It reminded all broadcasters to be mindful of their social responsibility to promote the well-being and peaceful co-existence of the various groups in the country in keeping with the objectives of broadcasting in Nigeria.
“The commission is reacting to the media controversy over the license granted to the National Commission for Nomadic Education for the establishment of a radio station to operate on the AM band.
“The National Commission for Nomadic Education duly applied for a broadcast license in furtherance of its objectives to develop and maintain nomadic education outreach programmes, including electronically-mediated ones.
“The letter of provisional approval dated September 28, 2018, was issued to the National Commission for Nomadic Education. The duration of the license is from October 8th, 2018 to October 8, 2023.
“The station’s programmes, which shall be purely educational, are designed to cater for the interest of migrant fishermen, herders, hunters, farmers, and migrants.
“Consequently, it is a misrepresentation for any person, or organisation to imply that the licensed station was just for a particular group,” the NBC said.
The commission further said similar educational broadcast licences were issued to institutions of higher learning and other governmental institutions with comparable needs, such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria, The Federal Road Safety Commission, and related institutions.
“Specifically, the commission enjoins broadcasting stations to take special note of the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which emphasise peace and national integration.
“While upholding professionalism and observing global best practices, stations are further advised to treat potentially-divisive issues with tact and sensitivity.
“The commission, therefore, reiterates that broadcast organisations are expected to exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, rights or supporters as highlighted in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” the NBC also said.