BOB’s appointment as NBC Board Chair causes rumpus

The appointment of Bashir Bolarinwa as chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) governing board has raised concerns among industry stakeholders.
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, on Wednesday, announced the appointment after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reconstitution of the commission’s governing board.
Bolarinwa is the chairman of the Kwara state faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that is loyal to the minister.
The faction controlled by AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, governor of Kwara, has Sunday Fagbemi as its chairman.
Bolarinwa was the caretaker committee chairman of Kwara APC — but he was removed in the wake of the disagreement between the governor and the minister over the control of the party in the state.
The new NBC board chairman is a former member of the house of representatives.
It is understands that there is apprehension among industry key players concerning the politician’s appointment — especially in the wake of the pushback over the controversial national broadcasting code.
The sixth national broadcasting code was launched by the information minister in August 2020.
The amendment seeks to give NBC the power to regulate content on social and online media in Nigeria, including licencing them.
It also seeks to regulate content exclusivity, enforce content sharing and empower NBC to determine prices at which content is sold to sub-licensees by right holders.
One of the amendments to the code is the increase of hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million.
Industry stakeholders had branded the code as agenda-driven, noting that they were excluded from making inputs before it was finalised.
The appointment of Mohammed’s close associate at the helm of affairs of the commission, stakeholders fear, would enable the minister to have his bidding done.
It would be recalled that in February 2022 that Mohammed is hoping to reintroduce the NBC act amendment bill through the executive bill route

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