The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed every social media platform and online broadcasting service provider operating in Nigeria to apply for broadcast license.
The Director-General of NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, gave the directive in a newspaper advertorial published recently. While giving the directive, Idachaba said in the advertorial that the establishment code of the NBC empowers the commission to request that the companies be licensed.
Section two (b) of the NBC act of 2004 states: “(1) The Commission shall have [the] responsibility of: Receiving, processing and considering applications for the establishment, ownership or operation of radio and television stations including (i) cable television services, direct satellite broadcast and any other medium of broadcasting.”
The advertorial read: “The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) hereby directs every Online Broadcast Service provider and Social Media Platforms operating within the Nigerian State to apply and obtain broadcast licence for their service(s).
“Note that any Online Broadcast Service Provider that fails to obtain a licence will be considered an illegal entity.”
Whether the directive applies strictly to only broadcast organizations or not is not clear yet.
The announcement of this decision announcement came barely 24 hours after the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced that top service providers like Twitter, Facebook, and other microblogging sites will have to register for a license before they can operate in Nigeria.