NBC seeks more airtime for children programmes
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has urged broadcasting stations to devote 10 per cent of their daily airtime to children programmes to promote morality in them.
The Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah made this call in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting.
The NBC Boss expressed concerned on how children local contents had not been receiving the required attention by sponsors, producers and the broadcasters.
“Instead of developing local contents, some broadcasters still rely on foreign children contents, particularly cartoons which often are laced with themes of violence and immorality.”
“NBC is deeply concerned about how some provisions under Chapter Four of the NBC code are being ignored or deliberately violated by broadcasts outfits.”
“Let me refer you to Section 4.2.2 (k) which requires broadcasters to devote at least 10 per cent of their total airtime to children programmes.
“This provision is grossly violated as the commission had clearly established this through programme audit it regularly undertakes,” he added.
Balarabe said that the commission had also noticed the usage of children in political advertisements by politicians and how the broadcasters woukd air such adverts in negation to section 7.7.1(d) of our the code.
He therefore urged the participants to critically appraise the performance of broadcasters in the area of children programming to come up with holistic policy direction.
He said that this would help in promoting safe children contents, protect and guarantee their future.
Ms Vanessa Phala, the Country Director, Internationsl Labour Organisation, Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said that relevant authorities must act urgently to protect children rights and restore their childhood.
Phala, represented by Dr Kolawole Agatha, the National Programme Coordinator, Africa Project, said that so many children were trapped in slavery, forced labour and trafficking.
According to her, some are forced to participate in armed conflict; used for prostitution, pornography or in illicit activities and such other dangerous ventures.
Also speaking, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abari, said that the stakeholders conversation was essentially to mobilise effort to campaign for the elimination of child labour in the country.
He described child labour as an aberration anywhere in the world that ougjt not to be tolerated.
He explained that the illicit practice “strips children of their dignity, denies them the right to education and exposes them to harmful and hazardous conditions.”
“As a society, one of the things we owe our children is protection from abuse.”
The director emphasised the agency’s commitment towards making the country a nation of decent people where citizens’ rights would be respected.