Lawmaker Odebunmi Says NBC And NPC Bills Have Been Suspended

Olusegun Odebunmi, a member of the House of Representatives, has revealed that the controversial legislation aiming to change the statutes governing the NBC and the NPC has been suspended.

The bills amending the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Acts have been dubbed “draconian” and “an attempt to restrict free speech in Nigeria.”

The federal senator said he is pausing the bill for extra deliberation on a Channels Television program on Tuesday, July 13. The National Union of Journalists, according to Odebunmi, cannot stifle the activities of the national legislature.

He said; 

“Personally, I’m suspending the process for more consultation.

“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.”

Responding to allegation of the bill being an attempt to gag the press, Odebunmi said; 

“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.”


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