The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has issued a final warning to the operators of Arise Television for alleged violations of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Balarabe Ilelah, the Director-General of NBC, conveyed this warning in a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Arise Global Limited. The letter was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja.
In the letter titled “Preponderance of derogatory and incendiary remarks: Final warning”, Mr Ilelah said the commission had observed with concern, the preponderance of incendiary remarks allowed on Arise News.
“This letter once again seeks to underscore the tremendous responsibility put on the broadcaster to manage array of guests that may feature on the station from time to time.
“For the benefit of doubt, on Oct. 5 during the programme – ‘The Morning Show’, anchored by Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo Ese, featured Oladotun Hassan and Dele Farotimi as guests.
“The programme contained unguarded incendiary remarks by Dele Farotimi against the legislature, executive, judiciary and Mr President.
“Similarly, On October 6, during the programme “Newsday”, it featured Kenneth Okonkwo (Spokesperson for Labour Party) who used derogatory remarks on air.
“Your attention is therefore drawn to the relevant sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code for compliance please,” Mr Ilelah said.
The Director-General of NBC emphasized that according to Section 1.10.3 of the broadcasting code, presenters must refrain from expressing personal opinions in programs as a professional standard.
Furthermore, Section 3.3.1 (a) mandates broadcasters to ensure that all information presented in a program is accurate.
He added that Section 3.3.3 (c) requires broadcasters to maintain impartiality, free from biases, prejudices, and personal perspectives.
In accordance with Section 3.3.1(e), broadcasters are prohibited from treating individuals or organizations unjustly or unfairly in any program.
The NBC chief elaborated that Section 5.3.3(b) of the code emphasizes that broadcasters must steer clear of hate speech, inflammatory language, derogatory remarks, and divisive allusions when using political materials in news and current affairs programs.
“Section 5.5.6 says, the broadcaster shall have a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable content.
“Arise TV is advised to install a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable contents as prescribed in Section 5.5.6 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“Please note that henceforth, your station shall be held liable for any infraction on your platform and applicable sanctions shall be imposed as prescribed by Law,” Mr Ilelah stressed.