CHAIRMAN's SPEECH @ THE 4TH ANNUAL LECTURE EVENT OF THE COMMISSION
- September 5, 2018
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TEXT OF SPEECH BY CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC), ALHAJI IKRA ALIYU BILBIS AT THE 4TH ANNUAL LECTURE OF THE COMMISSION, THURSDAY AUGUST 30, 2018, CONGRESS HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the board, management and staff of the National Broadcasting Commission, I welcome you all to this anniversary lecture. My colleagues and I at the National Broadcasting Commissionare indeed honoured to serve the Commissionat this moment of the Commission’s history.
The National Broadcasting Commission has indeed come a long way. From an industry that was solely controlled by two monopolies, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds. The National Broadcasting Commission has since its inception midwifed and supervised the growth of the broadcasting industry in a most constructive manner. Today we have perhaps the most vibrant broadcasting industry in Africa with over 700 broadcast stations. This has impacted in providing economic opportunities; boost in employment, and engagement of many young people in the creative industry. Advertising potentials have increased over the years, as well as exponential increase in diversity and pluralism of entertainment and information.
I am particularly attracted to the democratic advantages offered by the deregulation of the industry. Everyday in this country, citizens are expressing themselves and marketing their ideas on our radio and television stations. A plural media is a vital element for democratic advancement particularly in a multi party terrain like ours. When the history of Nigeria’s democracy is told, certainly the contribution of the broadcasting industry will receive apt and quantifiable mention.
I will therefore enjoin broadcasters to use their medium not for their selfish gains but for the unity and growth of the country. Broadcasting should promote healthy debate and give voters education and enlightenment so that voters can make informed choices.
The broadcast media belongs to all of us. It is a sacred medium not one for abuses and hateful speech. We must give everyone opportunity to speak in a decent manner. We must build respect among us as a nation.
As a Commission we are committed to make the broadcast media in Nigeria effective and impactful to the people of Nigeria. We are committed to completing the DSO project knowing that as we have seen in six states where we have switched on, it promotes information flow, increases advertising market, creates jobs and diversity of content. Similarly, we are determined to ensure that the 2019 elections are covered and reported decently and professionally.
The choice of this year’s lecture theme titled “Broadcasting and Nigeria’s Etho- Cultural and Religious Divide: Bridging the Gap couldn’t have come at a most auspicious time.
Ethnicity and religion have become a recurrent and ever present issue in the Nigerian polity. Broadcasting is critical to ethnicity and religion. How we use the broadcast media can affect our ethno-cultural relationship positively or negatively. Today I challenge our industry to use the broadcast media to promote healthy religious propagation, religious unity, respect that is built on a faithful and credible religious foundation, using our religious diversity as strength and not as weakness. Our religion and culture should unite us and not divide us. Let us be patriotic in our conceptualization and production of content.
I believe that our erudite scholar Professor Ibrahim Gambari who is a world acclaimed intellectual on Political Science will no doubt deliver more on these issues.
I therefore thank you again for honouring the Commission by your presence this event. May we take a collective resolve going forward to make our country greater.
Thank you for listening.