The federal republic of Nigeria comprises 36 states and Abuja is its capital. On 1 October 1960, Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin , Chad and Cameroon to the east, and Niger in the north. Its south is boarded by the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria exports oil and natural gas.
Overview of Media & FOE Environment
Nigeria’s vibrant and active media continue to face numerous attempts by state and non-state officials to suppress political criticism and intimidate journalists into silence. In 2011 President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Freedom of Information (FOI): which guarantees citizens’ right to public information. The legislation was the result of a decade-long advocacy campaign led by civil society groups and media practitioners. Until the passage of the law, access to official information remained restricted by provisions in the 1962 Official Secrets Act and the criminal code, which had various press and speech offenses, including sedition, criminal defamation, and publication of false news. Due to the instability of governments over the years the relationship between the state and the press fluctuated. Moderate considerations were given to press freedoms, while other times the crackdown on journalists disagreeing with the government were blatant and violent.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act as amended by the Act No. 55 of 1999 confers undue powers on individuals owners of media outlets and offers no provisions to ensure the independence of the National Broadcasting Commission. The NBC Act recognizes public, private and state-owned radio and television stations. It does not provide for true public service and community broadcasting.
Legal Regulatory Framework for Media Operation
• Section 22 of the 1992 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Section 39 of the 1992 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Criminal Code Act Cap C 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN),
• The Penal Code Act Cap P3LFN 2004,
• The Official Secrets Act, Cap 03 LFN, 2004,
• The Newspapers Act and Newspapers Laws of some states of the Federation
• Obscene Publications Act
MFWA’s work in Nigeria
The MFWA has been carrying out media rights monitoring reporting, media capacity building, and media development interventions in Nigeria