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Bill Seeking to Regulate Broadcast Practice Passes Second Reading

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has passed for second reading a Bill seeking to regulate the practice of the broadcasting profession in Nigeria.
The proposed legislation titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Regulation and Conduct of the Practice of Broadcasting Profession in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB.1150),’ is sponsored by Hon. Olaifa Jimoh Aremu.

Aremu who presented the Bill for second reading at the plenary on Thursday, said it seeks to establish a regulatory authority to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria, set required academic qualifications and ethical standards for broadcasters, broadcast journalists or broadcasting practitioners.

He also said it the Bill proposes that a person shall be qualified to practice as a broadcaster or be identified as a broadcaster only if such person has acquired or attained the prescribed academic or standard of training set by the council and such person has been so certified and registered to practice as a broadcaster by the council.

On qualification to practice as a broadcaster, he explained that one can also be qualified if prior to the commencement of the Act, such person has acquired requisite practical knowledge, training or experience in a recognised academic institution or broadcasting station or organisation, which shall entitle the council upon verification, to certify him or her as a broadcaster and register him to continue to practise as such.

According to him, “there shall be established a body to be known as the Broadcasting Practitioners Council (in this Act called ‘the Council’) which shall comprise of broadcasting practitioners of the highest distinction in the broadcasting profession in Nigeria. The council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal. The council shall be charged with the responsibility and performance of the following general duties.

“Formal admission, certification and registration of persons seeking to become broadcasting practitioners. Formal admission, conferment of recognition or certification on deserving persons who have been trained or have been practicing or working as broadcasting practitioners prior to the commencement of this Act. Prescribing, determining and setting the standard of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the broadcasting profession and reviewing those standards from time to time. Regulating and controlling the conduct of the practice of broadcasting profession.”

The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.

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