The Federal Government has named Prof. Armstrong Augustine Idachaba as the new acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
He replaces Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, who was suspended by the Federal Government.
A letter dated February 14, 2020, which was signed by Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, said Prof Idachaba, as the most senior Director in the National Broadcasting Commission, will oversee the affairs of the Commission.
Addressing press briefing on Friday, Idachaba said that the NBC under his watch would not deny anybody or group their constitutionally entrenched freedom of expression.
He also vowed that the commission would promote broadcasting for national development.
He said, “We are avowed to promoting pluralism of ideas, diversity of opinion and choice of content. We believe that the broadcast industry is critical to the realisation of the economic potentials of our nation and in building national cohesion. You will recall that not long ago the President approved the recommendations of the Reform implementation committee. The Reform provides for far reaching changes in the broadcast industry.
“The changes are in the areas of the welfare of the regulator, amendment and proposal for inclusion of certain new laws especially in the area of the Independence of the Regulator and the participation of the industry in the board of the Commission. Also in the area of New Regulations on content emanating from the social media. Let me make it clear that the NBC does not intend to and cannot deny citizens freedom of expression as entrenched by the Constitution.
“ The regulations are intended to mandate owners of distribution platforms to ensure through self-regulation, and the statutory provisions, that contents that will emerge on their platforms are not harmful content. Let me assure you that this reforms directed by Mr. President will be highly implemented. Another key area in the reform is in the area of regulating Monopolistic tendencies by Rights owners.
“The Commission and indeed the Federal government remain committed to the realization of the Digital transition because of its vast benefits to the vast number of Nigerians. We acknowledge that roll out has been slow, but with the support and drive of the Minister of Information and the Board of the NBC we are resolved to continue with the roll –out-therefore the Digiteam and the NBC along with stakeholders shall release a new roll out time indicating switch dates within the next 3 weeks. Permit me to also seize this opportunity to draw your attention to the need for us to remain focused on the need for social responsibility. Our broadcast stations have a responsibility to extol positive family values and promote a sound and morally built nation’.
Idachaba obtained a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Abuja in 2008.
He also undertook executive management courses from Georgetown University (2003) and Kennedy School, Harvard University (2016).
Idachaba joined the National Broadcasting Commission as an Assistant Chief Research/Monitoring Officer on grade level 13 and assumed duty on 1st November, 1994.
Until his appointment as Acting Director General, Prof Idachaba served as the Director, Broadcast Policy and Research.