The United Nations Development Programme Electoral Task Force led by Mr. Matthew Alao, Head, Governance, Peace and Security, was on Tuesday, 23rd August, 2022, at the Commission’s headquarters on a courtesy visit.
Mr. Alao, pointed out that the visit was a response to the Nigerian government’s request for collaboration with the United Nations in areas of mutual interest ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
He added that since its inception, the Electoral task force has identified four thematic areas of concern which are Transparency, Peace, Inclusivity and capacity. This he said, will be used to engage the relevant stakeholders.
Highlighting the four areas, Mr. Alao pointed out that the proposed timeline for the formulation and implementation of the policy document, as compiled by the Task Force, is 2022 – 2025, where it covers major aspects of the electoral process including pre-electoral and post-electoral proceedings.
With the National Broadcasting Commission as a stakeholder, the UNDP delegation proposed a strong partnership in order to further boost transparency and information integrity as the elections are approaching.
In his response, the DG,NBC, Mall. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah gave brief of the Commission’s regulatory activities, while acknowledging the importance and benefits of the partnership.
He reiterated the mandate of the Commission, while identifying the different areas in line with the thematic concerns where the UNDP and the Task Force can contribute to the broadcast sector.
On transparency, the Director-General stated the role of professionalism and capacity building in ensuring best practice within the industry. He also mentioned the progress made by the Commission towards the first-ever broadcast institute that is expected to standardize the practice.
Furthermore, the NBC boss noted the role the Commission continues to play in countering disinformation, misinformation and hate speech, especially, as elections are approaching.
Commenting on some issues raised by the UNDP team, the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Mrs. Franca Aiyetan, elaborated on the measures the Commission employs during elections to ensure transparency, integrity and professionalism.
Mrs. Aiyetan also stated that all regulatory policies and sanctions are as stipulated within the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.