The House of Representative member, Olusegun Odebunmi who sponsored the the proposal amending the statutes establishing the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) says the legislative process on the bills have been suspended.
The effort by the National Assembly’s lower legislative chamber to change the statutes establishing NBC and NPC has been criticized by civil society organisations, media stakeholders, and many others.
On Tuesday, Mr. Odebunmi claimed he initiated the bill suspension to enable for consultation with industry stakeholders on Channels Television’s breakfast program.
“Personally, I’m suspending the process for more consultation,” he said.
“What I’m saying is that the NUJ cannot gag the activities of the National Assembly by saying ‘No you must drop it’, because obviously that is not the way.
“We have suspended the process for more consultation to happen on it.
They demanded for a lot of time and I said ‘no problem, we have given you; even if you spend three, four to five weeks’. So far, more consultations from critical stakeholders, and many people have been submitting their memoranda to the National Assembly even within the industry.”
Mr. Odebunmi added that the bill was not designed to gag the media.
“My intention is not to gag the press, and unless all the practitioners can say all is well with the industry, to the best of my knowledge I know all is not well. And I know the National Assembly has the power to look into the existing Act.
“All is not well with the NPC agency. It is an agency of government, and you’re expecting something to be given back to the society, but until now nothing has been coming from the agency ” he said.