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National Assembly will not suppress media – Senate

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The Senate has declared that it is impossible for the 9th National Assembly to stiffen the media in Nigeria with its present amendments to the acts which set up the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC).

The Spokesperson for the Senate, Dr Ajibola Basiru, who gave the guarantee on Monday, stated that the amendments to the acts and other significant laws should not be misunderstood as an effort to suppress the freedom of speech and free press in the nation.

Basiru spoke in an interview with reporters at the sidelines of a two-day capacity building training for Media Aides to Principal Officers of the National Assembly, planned by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja on Monday.

He said, “The freedom of speech is an inalienable right of the people and effectively captured in the 1999 Constitution.

“There is the need to ensure that some regulations are put in place to prevent reckless and irresponsible use of such rights as had been exhibited by a few media establishments and individuals in recent times in the country.

“The current attempt to amend the NBC Act and the NPC acts is to improve and sanitise and not to stiffen the civic space.”

The Director General, NILDS, Abubakar Sulaiman also stated that there was a crucial need to offer some levels of check on “a culture of misinformation” under the pretense of freedom of speech.


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