The Minister Of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the federal government has increased the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to 5 million naira,
A statement released by his ministry on its Twitter page noted that the minister disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday during the unveiling the Reviewed Broadcasting Code.
Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari gave the order for the increase in order to allow the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to function better in its regulatory role.
He added that this will allow the commission to monitor political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour.
Mohammed, who explained that section 2h of the NBC Act empowers the commission to establish and disseminate a National Broadcasting Code, said, “There are many desirable provisions in the new Broadcasting Code:
“The provisions on Exclusivity and Monopoly will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves. It will encourage Open Access to premium content.
“The law prohibiting backlog of advertising debts will definitely promote sustainability for the station owners and producers of content.
“The law on registration of Web Broadcasting grants the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can harm us as a nation. Such harms could be in the area of security, protection for minors, protection of human dignity, economic fraud, privacy etc.
“The provision on responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies mandates terrestrial and Pay TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at time of national emergencies – like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment.
“The provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to 5 million Naira.”