The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has lamented the use of children in political advertisements aired by broadcast stations. At a stakeholders meeting in Abuja, NBC Director-General Balarabe Ilelah said the commission had noticed the usage of children by politicians and how the broadcasters would air such adverts in negation to section 7.7.1(d) of the code. He expressed concern about how children’s local content had not received the required attention from sponsors, producers and the. broadcasters “Instead of developing local content, some broadcasters still rely on foreign children’s content, particularly cartoons which often are laced with themes of violence and immorality,” he said. Mr. Ilelah lamented that broadcast stations deliberately violate the provisions of chapter four of the NBC code. “Let me refer you to Section 4.2.2 (k) which requires broadcasters to devote at least 10 per cent of their total airtime to children’s programmes. “This provision is grossly violated as the commission had clearly established this through programme audits it regularly undertakes,” he said.
He urged the participants to critically appraise the performance of broadcasters in children programming to come up with a holistic policy direction. The NBC boss said this would help promote safe children’s content and protect and guarantee their future. Vanessa Phala, the Country Director, International Labour Organisation, Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, said relevant authorities must urgently protect children’s rights and restore their childhood. Ms Phala, represented by Agatha Kolawole, the national programme coordinator, Africa Project, said many children were trapped in slavery, forced labour, and trafficking. According to her, some are forced to participate in armed conflict, and used for prostitution, pornography, illicit activities, and other dangerous ventures. NAN)

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