FG asks social media platforms, online broadcasters to apply for licence

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The Federal government has asked all social media platforms and online broadcasting service providers operating in Nigeria to apply for licence.

The acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Prof Armstrong Idachaba, gave the directive in a newspaper advertorial published on Thursday.

The directive follows the Federal government’s announcement that Twitter and indeed every social media platform must register as Nigerian company to be allowed “to do business in Nigeria.”

The development re-echoes concerns that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is out to clamp down on free speech and internet freedom, which the government has continued to deny.

Idachaba said in the advertorial that the NBC establishment code empowers the commission to ask the companies to 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 reads: “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).

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