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Lai Mohammed’s claim of N100,000 fine for foreign brands’ advertisement is False

6 mins read Recently, Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, recently made a number of claims concerning the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code (NBC).

Photo source: Premium Times Nigeria 6 mins read

Claim One

Claim: He claimed that brands that create adverts abroad but broadcast them on international and local radio and TV stations broadcasting in Nigeria will be fined N100,000 each time such adverts are ran; and any Nigerian company that invests in a foreign football league, must invest at least 30% of same funds in Nigerian football. The minister claimed that these provisions are contained in the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

While some of his claims are largely true, the claim by Lai Mohammed that the amended Nigeria Broadcasting Code states that brands that create adverts abroad but broadcast them on international and local radio and TV stations broadcasting in Nigeria are liable to a fine of N100,000 each time such adverts are run, is FALSE.

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FULL TEXT:

The Nigerian Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, recently said that brands that produce adverts abroad would pay a fine of N100,000 (One hundred thousand naira) each time the adverts are run on local radio and television stations, as well as international stations broadcasting in Nigeria.

Mr. Mohammed who said this on Monday 29th March 2021, as a guest on the Good Morning Nigeria show of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), claimed this fine was prescribed by the Amended 6th Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code 2020.

The Nigeria Broadcasting Code prescribes the standard of the contents and quality of materials for broadcast in Nigeria. The amendment to the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code was unveiled on Tuesday 4th August 2020, in Lagos by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the apex regulator of broadcasting in Nigeria. The revised code aims at increasing local content, generating advertising revenue, and preventing anti-competitive practices in the Nigerian broadcast industry.

Minister Unveils Reviewed Broadcasting Code, Hails Antitrust Provision *  247ureports.com
Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed and Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, the Ag. Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, unveiling the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code in August 2020. Photo Credit: 247ureports

The minister said that adverts promoting Nigerian brands must be directed and produced by Nigerians inside the country.

“What is common today is to see products made in Nigeria but the adverts for those products are actually probably done in South Africa or in the US. So, we amended the code to say that if a product you want to advertise in Nigeria territory is made in Nigeria, grown in Nigeria or processed in Nigeria, then you must make sure that the advert is also produced in Nigeria,” he said.

“Gulder is made, processed in Nigeria. If you go to South Africa to produce an advert which you are going to air to Nigerians because Nigerians consume Gulder, what we have amended the code to say is that for every time that advert is aired in Nigeria either on radio or television, you pay a fine of N100,000. We are not stopping you from making your production in America or South Africa but if you are going to advertise in Nigerian territory, you will pay a fine of N100,000.

“In other words, if Gulder makes an advert in South Africa and it is shown on NTA, if it shows it 10 times a day, it will pay N100,000 fine 10 times. If you do an advert in South Africa, you put it on CNN and we look at that advert and we see that the advert was not made in Nigeria but actually made in South Africa, or you see that five times a day it is on CNN, you pay half a million (naira) to us. Half a million will go to the Content Development Fund.”

VERIFICATION:

To verify these claims, Dubawa assessed the Amended 6th National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code 2020. According to Section 7.8.2 of the amended 6th Nigerian Broadcasting Code, the broadcaster:

  1. shall ensure that all television and radio advertisements for airing on all broadcast platforms, whether on Free or Pay platforms or on channels being up-linked or broadcast from Nigeria and pertaining to products and services manufactured, grown, processed, developed, created and originating from Nigeria shall be wholly produced in Nigeria.
  2. shall not transmit adverts produced by foreign entities, companies or organizations for the Nigerian market.
  3. shall demand compliance with Section 7.8.2 (a) and (b) above and any breach of the above in ensuring compliance shall incur a penalty and such sums shall be invested into the Local Content Development Fund.

The Amended Code prescribes for the exclusive production of all radio and television advertisements by Nigerians and within Nigeria. It also prohibits the transmission of adverts produced by foreign companies in Nigeria. While the code states that a breach of this provisions “shall incur a penalty and such sums shall be invested into the Local Content Development Fund”, it did not expressly state N100,000 as penalty nor any particular sum of money. Neither did it state that the penalty would apply each time the adverts are aired, contrary to the Information Minster’s claims.

Conclusion on Claim One:

While it is true that the amended 6th Nigerian broadcasting code prohibits the production of advertisements by foreign companies outside Nigeria, for transmission on local and international television and radio stations operating in Nigeria, however, the claims by Lai Mohammed that brands that produce adverts abroad would pay a fine of N100,000 (One hundred thousand naira) each time the adverts are run on local and international radio and television stations in Nigeria is FALSE, as the broadcasting code does not spell out the sum of N100,000 or any particular money as fine.

Claim Two

Claim: The Nigerian Minister of Culture and Information, Lai Mohammed, claimed that Nigerian brands, like Guinness which run adverts during foreign matches must compulsorily advertise during Nigerian Premier Football League games. Mr. Mohammed also stated that if any Nigerian company invests in a foreign league, the firm must invest at least 30% of that money in Nigerian football, a claim he said is in line with provisions of the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

According to the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code, no Nigerian brand shall advertise its products and services during the broadcast of a foreign sports league unless that brand equally advertises such products and services during the broadcast of the Nigerian local sports league. The code also confirms that Nigerian companies that invest in a foreign sports league must invest 30% of the same investment in the Nigerian sports league.

FULL TEXT:

As part of recent claims by the Minister of Culture and Information, Lai Mohammed, he claimed that Nigerian brands like Guinness which run adverts during foreign matches must compulsorily advertise during Nigerian Premier Football League games.

“Let’s assume you have brought in La Liga, and during the matches, Guinness is advertised, we will compel you, we will compel Guinness to also advertise when we are playing a local league. That is the only way we can grow this industry but as can be expected, we have had very few supporters,” the minister said.

“We went further to say that if a company should invest $1m in bringing EPL to Nigeria, that company must also be ready to spend 30% of that $1m in producing local content along the same line.

“In other words, if Maltina or Guinness decides to bring in EPL, which is English football, we have no problem with that. But they must also invest in covering our local league to the tune of 30 percent of what he has paid.”

He argued that this was the only way to help the local league thrive, adding that until the anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies are expunged from the broadcast sector, Nigeria would not be able to grow local content.

Verification:

According to Section 6.2.10 of the amended 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Code: “No prime foreign sports content shall be transmitted in the Nigerian territory unless the owner of such content has also acquired prime local sports content of the same category with a minimum of 30% of the cost of acquiring the prime sports content.”

Also, Section 6.2.11 states that: “Advertisement of products and services during prime foreign sports contents shall not be broadcast unless the advertiser equally sponsors, and or advertises such products and services in the broadcast of prime local sports contents in the same category, where such local sports contents produced in Nigeria are available.” 

Conclusion on claim two

It is true that Nigerian companies that invest in any foreign football league must invest 30% of the said investment in the Nigerian football league, according to the amended 6th Nigerian broadcasting code. The code also states that companies that advertise their products and services during foreign sports contents must equally advertise the same during Nigerian local sports contents.

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