15/04/2021

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NBC assures profit for foreign, local investors

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National Broadcasting Commission

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says the Sixth edition of the Broadcasting Code Amendment guarantees maximun profits for foreign and local investors in the industry.

The Acting Director-General of the Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, stated this on Monday during a live Radio Programme “Day Break Show” on Capital FM, Abuja.

The programme monitored by newsmen also featured another stakeholder in the industry, Mr Dimbo Atiya, the Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Television Kontent.

Idachaba said, Nigeria, with large population comparative advantage is an investors’ destination in the broadcast industry if things are done in the right way.

He said the new amendments to the code have taken care of all the impediments to profitable investments, without compromising national interest.

“We noticed challenges with the content distribution which the amendments have addressed.

“Some people are capitalising on our large population to make profits without injecting what will develop the sector, thus there is a disequilibrium.

“These are some of the things we need to catch up with, to boost local industry and serve our own national interest.

“But in all that, the amendment guarantees profit maximisation for both foreign and local investments.

“We believe that, what is yours is yours but you cannot keep it at the expense of national interest,” he said.

Idachaba clarified that the Exclusivity Clause in the amendment does not means relegating profit making to the background.

“In Nigeria, we have over 700 broadcast stations, so, an investor can make more profits in the country than given the right to a conglomerate,” he said.

He added that the intellectual property clause allows rights sharing but discourages investors from putting survival instinct first, before national interest.

“You can still make your profit by sharing the rights to others.

“However, you cannot make a story in Nigeria and exclude Nigerians from enjoying it or exclude the ownerof a content,” he said.

Idachaba said the new amendments also capture rules regulating coverage of a pandemic and the need to give more air time to enlighten the people in times of national emergency.

He said the ammendment also addresses the challenge of surge of social media and how it has become a source for spreading fake news and creating panic.

The NBC boss said in addition to injecting fund to the creative sector by government, the industry would do better with institutional reforms.

Speaking in the same vein, Atiya, said the amendment was a good move and commended the government and NBC for being proactive in putting down the guidelines.

He, however underscored the need to tinker with the Exclusivity Clause in the Broadcast Code ammendment.

“The Exclusivity clause in the amendment has become an issue for us.

“We put in our money into Nollywood and expect to have a return and turnaround but the Code says we must share our content to others. This is not proper.

“We can add timeline to the amendment such that, if I have a deal with MultiChoice or Netflix for 12 months, after it elapses, I can share the right or content.

“This is because MultiChoice or Netflix may not want to buy my content if they know I do not have exclusive right to it,” he said..

Atiya called on government to assist investors in the sector with waiver, subsidy and low interest rate loans to reduce cost of production.

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