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Hate speech: NBC right to increase fine but N5M too much – Pate

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Umaru Pate

Nasiru Yusuf

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is right to increase hate speech fine but N5 million is too much, says communications scholar Umaru Pate.

Kano Focus recalls that the NBC has increased the fine for broadcasting hate speech from N0.5million to N5million.

Mr. Pate, a professor of media studies says communications scholars and other stakeholders advised the NBC to jerk up the fine as the previous N500,000 was not enough of a deterrent.

He revealed this on Thursday while featuring in an ARTV Kano talk show “Kwaryar Kira”.

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“Some media organizations use to charge their clients additional fees in anticipation of the NBC’s N500,000 fine.

“That’s why we advised the NBC to increase the charges but I believe N5million is exorbitant.” He said.

Mr Pate advised federal government to consult relevant stakeholders in broadcast industry for a more reasonable fine.

The professor of media studies at Bayero University Kano (BUK) described hate speeches promoted by media as the major cause of Nigeria’s civil war.

The academic lamented how some broadcast stations in Nigeria were used to spread hate messages ahead of 2015 general election.

He said it is wrong to profile a whole ethnic group or followers of a religion due to the wrongdoing of few individuals.

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In her submission, the national president of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) Sa’a Ibrahim said the NBC did not consult heads of radio and television stations before taking the decision.

Ms Ibrahim who doubles as Director General ARTV Kano faulted NBC’s method of sanctioning media organizations.

She said it is against the principle of justice for NBC to be the arbiter in its own case.

She appealed to NBC to consult all stakeholders in broadcast industry especially heads of radio and television stations before taking any serious decision.

The BON president  also advised the commission to adopt a regulation strategy that provides several layers of treating alleged breaches before issuing a sanction.

Also speaking, the General Manager Vision FM Kano Adamu Ladan advocated for a special grant to media houses as done in developed countries.

Kano Focus recalled that the NBC has launched the controversial amended code in Lagos on August 4 despite opposition by stakeholders in the industry.

One of the amendments to the code is the increase of hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million and the provision for sub-licensing of all broadcast contents among others.

However, in what appeared to be in-house conflict Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, chairman of the NBC accused the minister of information and culture of amending the broadcasting code “unilaterally”.

Mr Bilbis told a press conference in Abuja on August 13 that he received over 50 position papers for the 6th amendment of the code but none of the input was considered.

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TCN creates Kano transmission region

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Nasiru Yusuf

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has carved out a new Kano transmission region from the old Kaduna Region. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the newly established unit brings the number of TCN regional centres to 10.

The TCN believes the step will improve commercial activities in the state.

A statement issued by TCN General manager of Public Affairs Ndidi Mbah explained that the creation of the Kano Transmission Region became necessary owing to the rapid economic and industrial development being witnessed within Kano State and its environs, as well as the gradual implementation of TCN’s strategic ‘Nigerian Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP),’ which has enabled the transmission company to complete some ongoing projects and increase the number of substations within that axis.

He said the  Kano Transmission Region had, under its supervision, one sub-regional office and several work centers, all housing 13 transmission substations (TS), including the Kumbotso TS, Dan Agundi TS, Dakata TS, Tamburawa TS, Kwanar Dangora TS, Wudil TS, Kankia TS, Katsina TS, Daura TS, Dutse TS, Hadejia TS, Azare TS, and Gagarawa TS.

The new Kano region currently according to the statement has ongoing transmission substation projects which when completed would further increase bulk transmission capacity in the new region.

The new Kano Transmission Region, the company said, would deepen operational efficiency within the region and enable its engineers to readily access and resolve technical issues within the new region.

Mbah explained that prior to the creation of the new Kano Region, major decisions had to be referred to Kaduna Region for directives, and the supply of materials was sometimes delayed due to logistic issues from Kaduna.

Mbah noted that the proximity of the new region would radically reduce downtime and eliminate time lost when materials had to be conveyed from the Kaduna Region.

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DSS arrests singer accuse of blasphemy

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Department of State Services have arrested another blasphemous singer, Ahmad Abdul, whose song was perceived to create chaos in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Singer Ahmad Abdul was detained by the DSS because his free movement may likely cause violence reaction from Kano residents.

While in detention, Mr Abdul tender apology to entire Muslims, Kano state government and Islamic Scholars.

He told DSS operatives that he never thought that the song has violated Islamic teachings.

Commenting while witnessing the bail condition granted to Mr Abdul at the DSS Headquarters, Kano, the Executive Secretary of the Kano state Censorship Board Ismaila Naaba Afakallah recalled that he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens.

Afakallah said having realized the gravity of the song’s blasphemy, he reported the singer to DSS who swung into action and arrested him at a Hotel where he was hiding for days.

Mr Abdul Father, Abdullahi Isa thanked the DSS for their timely response on the matter which saved possible outbreak of law and order.

Also in August last year, An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state has found one Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

However, the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State had on January 21 quashed the death sentence passed on Mr Sharif-Aminu and freed him.

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I’ll not run for President – Muhammadu Sanusi II

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Deposed Emir Sanusi

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The deposed Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II says he is not interested in contesting for the presidency of Nigeria.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Sunusi revealed this at a Tijjnaniyya zikir held in Abuja on Thursday.

Muhammadu Sanusi said his current position as Tijjaniyya Khalifa in Nigeria is superior to the presidency.

The deposed Emir however said he is ready to help those he believe in their competence to win elections without his participation in politics.

“If we trust a candidate is out to serve the people, we will come out and help them.

“That is not joining politics but a civic duty to the nation and its citizens” Mr. Sanusi said.

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