Mass Communication Project Topics

The Role of NBC in Supervising Broadcast Station: A Study on NBC Role in Benin City

The Role of NBC in Supervising Broadcast Station A Study on NBC Role in Benin City

The Role of NBC in Supervising Broadcast Station: A Study on NBC Role in Benin City

Chapter One


This study generally aims to find out how the NBC has been performing its statutory role since inception. Specifically, the study is meant to find out the following:

  • The extent the NBC has been able to perform its monitoring role as a watchdog of the broadcast industry.
  • The extent of compliance of the various broadcast stations with the NBC code of conduct.
  • If government’s reasons for hesitating to deregulate the industry have been justified.



Historical Background

For the perspicacity of this work, a brief incursion into the past of broadcasting in  Nigeria  will  suffice  at  this juncture. Beitang (2006, p.1) states:

With the natural backdrop of three vegetation zones and a  varied  colourful topography, Nigeria has an impressive historical location, traditional festivals and durbars, which provide a rich tapestry and backdrop for television and radio  production. There is also a rich multi-cultural setting of  about  400  indigenous  cultures to fertilise creation and creativity in the area of programming.

The coming of BBC Empire service in 1932 marked the beginning of broadcasting in Nigeria. The Empire service which utilized radio signal Re-diffusion Service, RDS, was designed to enhance economic, political and cultural relationship between Britain and its colonies. The outfit became Nigeria Broadcasting service, NBS, in 1951.

Furthermore, ordinance No. 39 of 1956 enabled the conversion of NBS to Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation NBC,    in April 1, 1957. The same act provided for the external service of NBC, the  Voice  of  Nigeria,  which  began operation in January 1, 1962.  However, the three regions established TV stations as follows: West (WNTV: 1959);  East (ENBS-TV: 1960); and North (RKTV: 1962). In 1979, all the regional radio stations came under one umbrella: Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Betiang 2006, p.1). Prior to that time the regional  TV  stations  were  harmonized to become Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, in 1976 (Owuamalam, 2006, p.10).

All along the ownership, control and operation of broadcasting in Nigeria were preserved exclusively for the various governments – Federal, Regional, and State (Media Rights Agenda, MRA, 2001, p.7). In 1992, the Deregulation of Broadcasting Decree No.38 was  promulgated  by the administration of  General  Ibrahim Babangida. The expression  of that presidential ipse dixit which established the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, also created a  new pattern of ownership and control as well as injected  competition in  the  broadcast industry. Corroborating, NBC  (2009, p.2) submits that “as a result of the revolution in the Nigeria broadcast industry, the number of broadcasting stations in Nigeria has, at the last count, risen to 394, from less than 30 before deregulation”.

What is Regulation?

Bringing the concept into perspective, Harvey (1999, p.2) states:

Regulation involves intervention by the state in areas of economic, social or cultural  life according to whatever political norms are characteristic of that nation state. Regulations may be issued by presidential decree, by religious prescription or by legislative action within a system of representative democracy.

Regulations may be administered directly by government, as it was in Nigeria before 1992. It could also be through statutory agencies that enjoy some degree of independence from government. This is exemplified by National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, of Nigeria; the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, of USA; and Independent Television Commission, ITC, of Britain.

At the basic level of broadcasting, regulation involves the issuance of permission, that is, the granting of licence to broadcasting organizations. In most countries like, Nigeria, the licences are  costly  to  acquire  by  private organizations. For instance, by 2006, the lowest licence fee for private radio was 15  million Naira;  as against the lowest for public stations: 10 million Naira (NBC; 2006, p.13). Moreover,  broadcasting regulation  is  dependent  on the cultural norms and also “contributes to the shaping of these norms, and can at times have a significant impact  on  the form and content of programmes” (Harvey; 1999, p.3), thereby affecting the  economic  and  management  structures of broadcasting. An appraisal of the philosophy and practice of broadcasting regulation would reveal its impact on the overall broadcasting activities in Nigeria.

Theoretical Framework

It would be appropriate to apply the theories of the press as framework for this study.  According to Dominick (2009, p.418-420) the theories of the press articulates  the  relationship between the government and the media. These theories include authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, communist, and developmental theories. For obvious reasons, this study focused on the provisions of the first two.

In authoritarianism, the government  used various devices like  licensing, censorship, closure, and other punishments  to elicit compliance from the media. On the other hand, libertarianism advocates that the media should be practiced freely without government interference so as to serve the people better. The two theories were chosen because according to Dominick (2009, p.418), all the theories of the  press “fall somewhere between two ‘isms’ that reflect  polar opposites in amount of control the government exerts on the media – authoritarianism and libertarianism”.

Corollary to the above, the two theories are relevant to the study because NBC was established by government to control broadcasting. The regulatory body was  charged to protect the interest of the government as  well as see to it  that the citizens’ interests are protected.  Therefore, these theories  would provide the platform to adjudge  the amount of control and, or, the shape of regulation handed down to broadcasting organizations in Nigeria.




In this study, the survey research method was used as the scientific approach in the study. Survey research was found to be the most appropriate for this particular study. Survey research, as a research technique used to obtain data, requires either interviewing the respondents or providing them with self-administered questionnaire.

Research Design

The design used for this study is survey research design. Survey design techniques are used to gather contemporary data either by direct measurement or by solution from others.

According to Ogili (2005), Survey is a form of descriptive research that studies both large and small population for the study. It studies a group of people, considered to be representative of the entire group. The research instrument employed in this study were questionnaires which were used in preference to other survey techniques.

Population of the study

Population of study according to Ogili (2005:53) “involves a group of persons or aggregate items, things the researcher is interested in getting information from the study”. The population of the study is the reporters/journalist of Federal Radio

Corporation I Benin city, as they are the once that cover the new3s. the population is made up of the entire journalist in NBC, with the total number of 450.



The aim of this chapter presents and analysis research findings since the research questions are geared towards responding to the research problems of this study, through the use of questionnaire distributed. One hundred and forty (140) copies of questionnaire were distributed, out of which one hundred and twenty (120) copies were returned with a response rate of 85.7% while 20 copies were not returned with a response rate of 14.3%.




Regulation is one of the instruments used by the society to check media content and portrayal. The political system of a country determines the direction its regulations follow. In Nigeria, the National  Broadcasting Commission, NBC, was established by Decree 38 of 1992, to register, regulate and control broadcasting in  Nigeria.  But it has been established that the commission serves as an agent of government thereby beclouding its agenda of pluralism in the broadcast sector.

Nevertheless, its regulation approaches include, licensing, monitoring, sanctioning defaulters, intervening and arbitrating in conflicts and other control measures. The commission performs all these duties with overt showcase of bias against the private stations; thus making it an “irregular” regulator. It is believed that the inability of NBC to exercise its duties independently rests on the fact, that the power to issue licences is with the president, and not the commission. Also, the laws erroneously gave the commission two much powers – making it a regulator and an arbitrator – thus it commits some fundamental flaws that places the country far behind other nations in terms of  positive regulation.

As an aftermath of the licences being issued by the country’s supreme political authority, the commission would always bend the rules to protect the stations established by government. This scenario fosters the principles of the authoritarian theory. In other to uphold democratic principles in a period Nigeria is being re-branded, it would be pertinent to adopt the principles of the libertarian theory by reviewing the Nigerian Broadcasting Code and its application, and create an equal competitive atmosphere for all and sundry. This will be in line with the international standard that preaches against indecent content; for equal opportunities and the fairness doctrine (Dominick 2009, 380-1). Nigeria should emulate the success stories of the broadcasting  atmosphere  in  Britain,  USA,  Ghana  and South Africa among other nations.


From the research conducted, it clearly seen that NBC needs to be properly funded so as to clear economic factor that hinders better news coverage. NBC should also provide infrastructure (technological devices) that can help cover news easier and faster since even the best brain cannot do much where there is no money and equipment.

The radio owners should reduces the rate at which the put constraint on reporters who go out to source for news.

Journalist should be journalist of conscience and should perform their social responsibility regard less of situation.

Poor remuneration, poor performance. Workers or journalist should be well and properly trained so as to meet up with professional methods of covering events. i.e cover necessary items.

The government should interfere less in the running of the station and focus on subvention and overall performance of the station as a tool for national developments covering news that are people’s interest oriented instead of owner’s interest oriente


  • Agbo B. 0. and Eze M. A (2007) Handbook on interpretative and specialized journalism Enugu Cheston Agency Ltd.
  • Anim, E. (2006). Creative News writing, Calabar: Media Associates Limited. Aliede E. Jonathan (1999). History of Nigerian Press Lecture, Note IMT Enugu. Afterrnan, E. (2003). What Liberal Media? The truth about bias and the news. New York Basic Book
  • Ebo S. Joan. (1996). Mass Media and Society an Introduction. Enugu Acena Publishers.
  • Gieber Wafter. (1960). Two Communicators of the News. A study of the Roles of Sources and Reporters; Social Forces 39(1), 76-83.
  • Gramsci, Antonio. (1971). Selections from the prison Notebooks London: Laurence and Wishart.
  • lfedayo D. (2006). History and Development of Mass Media in Nigeria, Lagos: Published by Rotan Limited.
  • Koucach, B., and Rrdl, T. (2001). What news people should know and the public should Expect. NewYoik Three Rivers Press.
  • Larson, M. S. (1977). The Rise of Professionaism as a sociological Analysis. London: University of California Press.
  • Nwosu,  L E. (1990). Mass Communication and National Development Aba: Fronher Publishers Ltd.
  • Okenwa S. (2002). The Media Theories arid Reoit. Enugu: Bismark Publishers. Osuala, E. C. (1993) Introduction to Research Methodology, Enugu: African Publishers Limited.
  • Parsons, T. (1951). The Social system New York: The Free Press.
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!