The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has directed all GOTV, DSTV, NTA Startimes, FreeTV and other pay TV platforms in Nigeria to decrypt all local channels to enable subscribers to access daily reports and directives on the Coronavirus pandemic.
The NBC management, in a statement signed on Friday by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Ekanem Antia, said the decryption will last for one month.
“Further directives on this shall be issued by the Commission after detailed assessments of subsequent development,” the statement noted.
The NBC had earlier requested broadcast stations to ensure timely basic information and updates on the pandemic.
According to the statement, the commission noted that daily broadcast monitoring reports so far indicated that broadcast stations across the country have been giving detailed reportage on the campaign for awareness on the virus.
However, the commission noted with dismay that a few broadcasters aired “unsubstantiated news and names of persons purportedly infected by the virus without required professional authentication”.
“Broadcasters are further mandated to allot, at least, 10% of their daily airtime to public enlightenment on the virus, in line with National interest and Social Responsibility, as enshrined in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” the statement added.
The management commended broadcasters “that have remained steadfast and displayed professionalism in this period”.