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House of Representatives Holds Public Hearing on Media Bills

The House of Representatives Joint Committees on Information and Culture, National Orientation; and Ethics and Values on Wednesday, 16 June 2021 held a 2-day public hearing on five media-related Bills namely:

  • The National Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (HB 332) which seeks to strengthen the commission and make it more effective to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria; to provide for payment of all monies received by the Commission into the Federation Account in accordance with section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); and encourage liberal openness and favorable competition in the industry;
  • The Nigeria Institute of Translators and Interpreters (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB 136) which among others, seeks to a body charged with the responsibility of determining the standards of knowledge and skills required to become a registered translator, etc.;
  • The Advertising Practitioners (Registration, etc.) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2020 (HBs 137 and 518) that seeks to enact the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Licensing, etc.) Act and establish a council for Advertising Practitioners as the apex regulatory authority for the Nigerian advertising profession and practice and ensure smooth operations of the council;
  • The National Film and Video Censors Board Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (HB 514) which seeks to enact the National Film and Video Censorship Classification and Exhibition Regulatory Commission Act charged with the responsibility of classification of films, video works, musical videos and video games; and
  • The Nigeria Press Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (HB 330) which seeks to remove bottlenecks affecting the performance of the council and bring the council in line with current realities regulating the press.

The Public Hearing, which was chaired by Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi (APC: Oyo) invited stakeholders in the media sector to provide inputs into the proposed Bills with the objective to significantly alter the statutory framework of media, advertising and intellectual property regulation in Nigeria, influence the creation of media content, determine the contents for advertising, and establish institutions that will impact Nigeria’s media systems.

The Joint Committee is expected to present its report on the Bills in plenary for consideration by the House of Representatives.

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