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Saturday, October 12, 2019

FG plans to license WebTv - ITREALMS

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) may have concluded plans once again to regulate the Internet with the proposed licensing of Web Television (WebTV), reports ITREALMS.

WebTV, 
ITREALMS gathered, was originally a brand owned by Microsoft as one of the first entries in the much publicized convergence of the World Wide Web with television. Unlike in cable TV, which entails users to buy a set-top box, Web TV requires just sign up with the WebTV access service and browse Web pages using a WebTV's browser and a hand-held control as long as one has Internet access.

With the growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) WebTV has since assumed an international dimension with advance of Internet as as a marketing tool and outlet for independent creators to display their work, thereby has shown improvement in Web television via quality, thus rivaling network television.

According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lia Mohammed during the inauguration of the National Broadcasting Commission Reform Implementation in Abuja on Thursday, which has some six weeks to submit its report.

The Committee is to upgrade list of breaches of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ''Class A'' offence in the Broadcasting Code.

“Amendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria,” he asserted.

Other highlights of his speech underscored the fact that FG planned to among other things, “establish and publish a new regulation for the licensing of web and Internet broadcasters/International broadcasters in Nigeria.”

Also, he said the Committee is to work out modalities for immediate establishment and “publicize a new sanctioning, fines and penalty regime that is in line with international best practice, promote professionalism and serve as a deterrent to erring practitioners against misconduct, especially hate speech, violence and spread of fake news.”

Further, he said, the Committee is to work on finally putting an end to all forms of monopoly detrimental to the actualization of the immense potential of the broadcast industry.

The Committee has six weeks to submit its report and is made up of seven wisemen and a woman, including: Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, Director of Monitoring of the NBC; Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, Acting Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); J.K. Ehicheoya, Esq, Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; Hajia Binta Adamu Bello, Secretary, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON); Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh, Director of Administration, FRCN; Hon. Agbo Kingsley Ndubuisi, Board Member, NBC, and Mr. Joe Mutah, Chief Press Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Pix: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (fourth from left); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe (third left); Prof. Armstrong Idachaba (fifth from left); Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh (extreme left); J.K. Ehicheoya Esq. (second left); Hajia Binta Adamu Bello (fourth from right); Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa (third from right); Hon. Kingsley Agbo Ndubisi (second from right) and Joe Mutah (extreme right) when the Minister inaugurated the Committee on the Implementation of Reforms in the National Broadcasting Commission in Abuja on Thursday.

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