Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government has charged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to scale up its regulatory role ahead of the 2023 general election.The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the call at the inauguration of the governing board of the NBC. He said the NBC will come under increasing pressure to step up its regulatory role to prevent a repeat of what transpired before, during and after the 2019 general elections, when some broadcast stations threw caution to the wind and engaged in inciting, incendiary and unprofessional broadcasts.“It is important for the Commission to ensure that its licensees adhere strictly to the tenets of the Broadcasting Code,” Mohammed said.He also called on the Board to initiate relevant policies that will drive the implementation of the Digital Switch Over (DSO), which is the flagship project of the NBC.He said that government had been unable to meet its ambitious plan to fast-track the DSO this year by launching it in at least two states every month.“But we are working hard to resume the DSO launch as soon as possible. I urge you all to buy into this project to ensure that NBC is able to deliver on what we perceive as a legacy project – because it will change the face of broadcasting in Nigeria,” he said.He urged the members of new NBC Board to maintain a cordial relationship with the management, and to strictly adhere to their roles in policy formulation and refrain from getting involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation. The minister reiterated that the role of the board of any organisation is to formulate policies maintaining a cordial relationship with the chief executive officer of the Commission to engender a smooth working relationship and not to engage in the day-to-day running of the organisation, adding the Board is to evolve strategic ways of supporting the commission so it can most effectively deliver its mandate.In his remarks on behalf of the Board, the Chairman, Mr. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding them worthy to serve.He pledged the readiness of the Board members to work with the management of the NBC as well as the Ministerial Task Force on the DSO to ensure the success of the project.