The Federal Government has raised the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, made this known in Lagos on Tuesday while unveiling the Reviewed Broadcasting Code.
This was contained in a statement by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, titled, “Remarks By The Hon. Minister Of Information And Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, At The Unveiling Of The Reviewed Broadcasting Code In Lagos On Tuesday, Aug. 4th 2020”.
In the statement which was made available on the verified social media platforms of the ministry, Lai Mohammed said the amendments were necessitated by a Presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), as well as the conduct of the various broadcast stations before, during and after elections.
The minister noted in his statement that the recommendations were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, to reposition the NBC to better perform its regulatory role in the areas of political broadcasting, local content, coverage of emergencies, advertising, and anti-competitive behaviour.
Amongst the things listed in his statement was the provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to N5 million.
He added, “The Broadcasting Code is not a static document. As we often say, broadcasting is dynamic. Therefore, even the 6th Edition of the Code shall be reviewed at the appropriate time. But, as it currently stands, the 6th edition and the amendments, which we are unveiling today, remain the regulations for broadcasting in Nigeria”.
However, the government mandated broadcast stations to devote airtime for public education on emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.