Seeking a media stranglehold, information minister Lai Mohammed has demanded the federal government’s total control of NBC’s revenue.
The National Broadcasting Commission regulates the broadcast media in Nigeria.
Mr Mohammed maintained that at the moment, the NBC pays about 70 per cent of its revenue to the Single Treasury Account while retaining 30 per cent, adding that he will present the case before the Ministry of Finance for their advice.
“We have a problem with this because it is not in line with the thinking of the executive. Very soon, the NBC will exit the number of parastatals whose salaries are paid by the federal government,” stated President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s propaganda minister.
Arguing further, he stated, “In other words, the NBC would need to be paying its own salaries, paying for its overheads and operations. If that is the way the executive is thinking, it will be a drawback if you now pay everything into the Treasury Single Account.”
According to Mr Mohammed, it “means that the government would have to continue to pay our salaries and take care of all our needs,” which he claimed, “will defeat the objective of the federal government that certain parastatals should contribute more to the revenue of the government.”
At the hearing, Mr Mohammed also asked the House of Representatives to include internet broadcasting under the control of NBC, included in section two (c) of the bill, allowing the regulatory body to “receive, process and consider applications for the establishment, ownership of radio and television stations.”
The bill, if passed with the recommendations of Mr Mohammed, online media entities will have to get approval from the NBC before commencing operations.
He spoke at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.
He also urged NBC to remit all its funds to the Single Treasury Account, in line with Section 162 of the constitution.
Mr Mohammed made these comments while demanding that the legislature grant full regulatory powers to the government over internet broadcasting and all online media outfits.
The development followed MrBuhari’s Twitter ban in Nigeria, ordering telecom operators to restrict access to the microblogging platform.
Mr Mohammed claimed the restriction of Twitter operations in Nigeria resulted from the platform being used to spread false information and undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The federal government imposed the ban after Twitter deleted tweets and videos posted on social media by Mr Buhari, where he threatened genocide against the Igbo-dominated South-East.