Professor Armstrong Idachaba:New man at NBC

Prof Armstrong Augustine Idachaba has taken over as the acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), with a vow at a maiden press conference on Friday in Abuja to make the commission committed on its objectives of promoting broadcasting for national development.

He also said that a new roll out date for the Digital Switch Over(DSO) will be announced soon.

Idachaba was appointed by the Federal Government following the suspension of Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu.

In a letter dated February 14, 2020, and signed by Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Professor Idachaba, as the most senior Director in the National Broadcasting Commission, will oversee the affairs of the Commission.

Idachaba, born on 16 July 1962, in Kaduna, Kaduna State obtained his first degree in 1985 from the University of Jos in Theatre Arts, Master’s in Theatre Arts, also from the University of Jos in 1993, and a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Abuja in 2008.

He also undertook executive management courses from Georgetown University (2003) and Kennedy School, Harvard University (2016).

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He worked, from 1986 to 1996, as a lecturer and the head, department of English and Theatre Arts, at the College of Education, Ankpa, Kogi State.

He also worked as a Features Writer for the Nigerian Voice Newspaper; Artiste and Presenter for NTA Makurdi, and; Director Movies Theatre Promotions, from 1986 to 1990.

Idachaba joined the National Broadcasting Commission as an Assistant Chief Research/Monitoring Officer on grade level 13 and assumed duty on 1st November, 1994. He rose to become the Zonal Director of the then Umuahia Zone, Zonal Director Uyo, Zonal Director, Abuja, and Zonal Director, Lagos.

He was also the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, at the Headquarters.

Until his appointment as Acting Director General, Prof Idachaba served as the Director, Broadcast Policy and Research.

He has published several paperbacks on Media, Digital Technology, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Regulation. He has, and continues to, make contributions to the Commission’s Monitoring and Research activities.

At a press briefing today, Idachaba stated his objective while holding forte at the Commission.

“We are avowed to promoting pluralism of ideas, diversity of opinion and choice of content. We believe that the broadcast industry is critical to the realisation of the economic potentials of our nation and in building national cohesion.You will recall that not long ago the President approved the recommendations of the Reform implementation committee. The Reform provides for far reaching changes in the broadcast industry.

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“The changes are in the areas of the welfare of the regulator, amendment and proposal for inclusion of certain new laws especially in the area of the Independence of the Regulator and the participation of the industry in the board of the Commission. Also in the area of New Regulations on content emanating from the social media. Let me make it clear that the NBC does not intend to and cannot deny citizens freedom of expression as entrenched by the Constitution. The regulations are intended to mandate owners of distribution platforms to ensure through self-regulation, and the statutory provisions, that contents that will emerge on their platforms are not harmful content.Let me assure you that this reforms directed by Mr. President will be highly implemented. Another key area in the reform is in the area of regulating Monopolistic tendencies by Rights owners.

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“The Commission and indeed the Federal government remain committed to the realization of the Digital transition because of its vast benefits to the vast number of Nigerians. We acknowledge that roll out has been slow, but with the support and drive of the Minister of Information and the Board of the NBC we are resolved to continue with the roll –out-therefore the Digiteam and the NBC along with stakeholders shall release a new roll out time indicating switch dates within the next 3 weeks.Permit me to also seize this opportunity to draw your attention to the need for us to remain focused on the need for social responsibility. Our broadcast stations have a responsibility to extol positive family values and promote a sound and morally built nation’.