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Nigerian radio station fined over comments about minister of information

On Friday, 12 April 2013, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigerian broadcast regulator, imposed a NGN2 million (approx. US$12,600) fine on the Kaduna-based privately owned radio station, Liberty Radio FM, over comments aired on an Hausa phone-in discussion programme called "In A Dalili".

The NBC handed down the fine based on a comment made by a caller during the live phone-in programme on 18 March 2013. The caller's comments were in objection to a planned visit by the National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) team led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, to Kaduna state in northern Nigeria.

The caller suggested that it would have been better for the governor of Kaduna State to spend the N150 million (approx. US$947,000) it cost to host the Minister's so-called "Good Governance Tour" on more meaningful things.

In addition to the fine, Liberty Radio FM was also asked to feature the minister as a guest in a subsequent edition of the programme, in line with section 3.4.3 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code on Right of Reply, saying the minister had a right to respond to the comment.

The station is expected to pay the fine within 14 days or it will be issued a more severe sanction.

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