NBC gets new Board Members
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC), IS’HAQ MODIBBO KAWU, AT THE RECEPTION FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE NEW BOARD OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION. FRIDAY, 2ND MARCH, 2018
Mister Chairman and Honorable Members of the Board of the National Broadcasting Commission.
This is a historic moment for the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). When the Buhari administration came to power in 2015, it emphasized its committed to changing the destiny of the country for good. It was in the context of that commitment, that I was appointed Director General of the NBC, in May 2016. My remit was very clear; President Muhammadu Buhari charged me to endeavor to make the Commission one of the best, if not the best, broadcast regulatory agency in the world.
I am delighted to announce, that my job has been made easier, by the assemblage of experienced, and distinguished individuals, that have been appointed to the board of the Commission. I will like to congratulate this eminent cast of Nigerians, that have accepted to serve on this board, led by our chairman, Alhaji Ikra Ilyasu Bilbis. For us at the NBC, it is a remarkable homecoming, because the chairman was once a Minister of State, in the Ministry of Information. He therefore brings to this new position, a broad understanding of the context of work of the NBC.
Similarly, we have in our midst, Kogunan Sokoto, Malam Nasir Danladi Bako. A former Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, who burnt a very positive imprimatur on this institution. He is a man whose place in Nigeria’s broadcasting history, as a consummate professional, is assured. Similarly, I am happy to note, that Lawyer Saliu Bamidele Aluko, is also on our Board. We grew up together; and remarkably, during the 2nd Republic, 1979-1983, his father was a member of the Board of Radio Kwara in Ilorin, at a time, that I was building my broadcasting career. There are other equally notable Nigerians, whose story we would become familiar with in the weeks and months ahead, as we work together, to shape the destiny of our Commission.
Your appointment comes at a most remarkable conjuncture for Nigeria’s broadcasting industry. Our Broadcasting landscape is undergoing an important revolution. The Digital Switch Over (DSO) process is a front-burner project of the Commission, initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); actively supported by the Federal Government and being strategically implemented by the NBC and a group of stakeholders. I will like to inform Mister Chairman and Members of our Board, that so far, we have rolled out in 6 states of the federation in the last 2 years. The success of rolling out in 6 states, has come, after the initial delays that lasted over 12 years. As we gather today, one of our signal distributors is installing facilities for the next round of rollouts, in Delta and Gombe states. And our Board of Management (BOM), and the DSO stakeholders, have also selected the next set of six states, that we would hopefully, switch on, before the end of 2018!
It is my firm belief, that with your experiences, clout and reputation, we shall be able to work together, to accelerate the progress of the DSO, and continue to present it to the Nigerian people, as one of the landmark achievements of the Buhari administration. The DSO needs funds. We also need continued government buy-in at all levels; we do hope to be able to leverage on your experiences and contacts at the various levels of government, to secure the funding support, to help us conclude Nigeria’s transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting. Another major issue in focus for the Commission, is the regulation of the broadcast media space, especially with regards to political broadcasting. As you may have noted, the political space is already imbued with several negative tendencies, such as fake news, hate speech, abusive comments and biased /partisan reportage. We are putting in place a lot of initiatives in 2018, to help stem the tide of hate speech, especially against the backdrop of the electioneering process, on the eve of the 2019 elections. We look forwards to sharing your varied backgrounds and experiences, as the Commission works to ensure the sustenance of the media’s role in promoting and deepening our country’s democracy.
We live in an age of remarkable technological development and of ideas that impact on the media, as well as the work of regulatory institutions, like the NBC. That is why at the NBC, we constantly look forward to rebranding ourselves to meet the challenges associated with the digital era, that we are midwifing. I will like to seek the support of our Chairman and other Board Members, in the continued development of the Commission, in terms of its technical capacities, as well as in the development of the capacities of members of staff. The NBC must become a genuine regulatory institution of the 21st Century, able to provide the regulatory leadership for Nigeria’s broadcasting industry, that is witnessing an exponential growth, in the context of the digital revolution.
At the NBC, we have a crop of dedicated and professional staff, serving here at the Headquarters, and in 10 zonal offices and 27 state offices, around Nigeria. Please be rest-assured, that members of staff of the Commission will support the new Board, to achieve the broad vision for the Commission. Similarly, I will like to assure you of my loyal support in the work that the Chairman and members of the Board will be doing, to achieve the vision that the present administration, and President Muhammadu Buhari in particular, has for the NBC. Mister Chairman, Members of the NBC Board, you are most welcome to the NBC, at a most exciting and equally challenging period in our operations. Finally, on behalf of the Management and Staff, I wish you a most productive and a very successful tenure.
Thank you very much for your attention!