Multichoice and others fined for televising BBC documentary
Business Politics

Multichoice and others fined for televising BBC documentary

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined Multichoice Nigeria Ltd, owners of DSTV, TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV), NTA-Startimes Limited, and local station Trust TV a hefty sum of five million Naira each for airing the BBC African Eye documentary, “Bandit Warlords of Zamfara”. The documentary discloses the secrets underlying most bandit attacks in the state.

The NBC argues that the BBC report glorifies banditry and harms Nigeria’s national security. They also warn broadcasters to be extremely cautious in their efforts to educate, inform, and enlighten the public on subjects relating to developments and happenings both within and beyond the country.

The statement by the NBC reads, “The Commission wishes to seize this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be circumspect and deliberate in the choice and carriage of contents deleterious to Nigeria’s national security”. The NBC gave the media sources until August 30 to pay.

Concerns about Nigeria’s free expression policies and legislation have been expressed over the years. As the world changed and the Fourth Republic arrived, optimism filled the hearts of many citizens for a more democratic era of free expression and the rule of law. The events that follow, however, indicate a halt in the trend.

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, abolished and re-enacted the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code in 2020 to include “hate speech.” Following that, the commission punished Africa Independent Television (AIT), Arise TV, and Channels Television in October 2020 for claimed “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSARS protests and the Lekki Shooting.

The Federal Government of Nigeria halted Twitter’s operations in the country on June 4, 2021, after the microblogging platform erased President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet about the tragic Biafran civil war, noting that those misbehaving today would be handled “in the language they understand.”
The retaliation surprised Nigerians, as hate speech is a major offense in the country. However, the restriction was issued owing to “the recurrent use of the platform for actions capable of undermining Nigeria’s business existence,” according to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.

In an emailed statement, the BBC responded to this development (the fine) thus: “This story is overwhelmingly in the public interest, and the BBC stands by its journalism”.

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video