Hate speech now attract N5m fine – FG 

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws with hate speech attracting N5m penalty.

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Before Buhari’s approval, which the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed on Thursday, inciting comments and indecency attracted N500,000 fine.

Mohammed revealed the review when he inaugurated a seven-member Committee on the Implementation of Reforms in the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The review, he said also includes wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station to attract suspension of license and Upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ‘’Class A’’ offence in the Broadcasting Code.

According to the minister, “Highlights of the recommendations approved by Mr. President are as follows: Independence of the NBC from political interference in the exercise of its regulatory powers, particularly with respect to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting license.

“A review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws to reflect the following amendments; – Upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency – Wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station to attract suspension of license – Upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ‘’Class A’’ offence in the Broadcasting Code.

“Amendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria.

“Recruitment of more monitoring staff for the NBC. At the moment, there are only about 200 Staff monitoring about 1,000 radio and television stations.

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