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President Muhammadu Buhari

Communication experts at the weekend commended President
Muhammadu Buhari for refusing to sign the National Broadcasting
Commission Bill 2018 (Amendment) into law.

They said the president’s action demonstrated his resolute
commitment to national interest, over the primordial vested
interest of a few powerful persons or a group of
establishments.

The experts, Engineer Yusuf Ahmadu and Barbara Ekprikpo,
conveyed their commendation in a statement issued in Abuja, the
nation’s capital.

“The President’s decline to sign the bill was again communicated
to the Senate President with reasons, which are mostly in alignment
with the views of industry experts,” they stated.

The statement reads: “The President clearly stated that he seeks
to ensure that the NBC is not dis-empowered by the proposed amended
act.

“In a bizarre show of lack of National interest some Nigerians
colluded with their foreign cohorts to influence the National
assembly to, not only insert some strange clauses that would tamper
with the number of Digital Broadcasting Signalling Distributor (
BSD) Licenses, stipulated by the white paper, but also expunge the
clause that empowers the NBC to efficiently carry out its
functions.

“This illegal action, if allowed to have passed with a
Presidential assent, would have grossly hampered the currently
ongoing Digital Switch Over (DSO) process.

“We indeed have a President that is reasonable and who has a
listening ear as he has proven once again that bills would only be
assented to by him, for the right reasons, and with strong
considerations given to views of experts that our country, Nigeria
is enormously blessed with.

“By this master stroke, the President, has saved the country
tremendous national security and economic vulnerabilities.”

It would be recalled that some experts recently expressed strong
worries over some insertions into the bill that were inimical to
the position of the Federal Government White Paper on the NBC
Act.

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December 2018
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