All social media platforms and internet broadcasting service providers operating in Nigeria have been required to apply for a broadcast license by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The decision was issued by NBC Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba in a newspaper advertisement published on Thursday.
This comes after the Nigerian government announced that in order to “conduct business in Nigeria,” Twitter and other social media sites must register as a Nigerian firm.
It reaffirms worries generated by charges that the Buhari administration is restricting free expression and internet freedom – charges that the government denies.
According to Idachaba, the NBC establishment code allows the commission to request that enterprises be licensed.
Section two (b) of the NBC act of 2004 states: “(1) The Commission shall have [the] responsibility of: Receiving, processing and considering applications for the establishment, ownership or operation of radio and television stations including (i) cable television services, direct satellite broadcast and any other medium of broadcasting.”
The advertorial reads: “The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) hereby directs every Online Broadcast Service provider and Social Media Platforms operating within the Nigerian State to apply and obtain a broadcast licence for their service(s).
“Note that any Online Broadcast Service Provider that fails to obtain a licence will be considered an illegal entity.”