FG announces plan to regulate Netflix and other streaming services

According to the FG, streaming platforms can be used to undermine the country's democratic process.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed [BBC via Getty Images]

The Federal Government has hinted on new moves to introduce censorship laws and regulatory framework for Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services and content providers in Nigeria.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed in a two-day conference organized by the NFVCB in Lagos, shared that streaming services could be used as a medium to "cause chaos" and undermine the country's democratic processes hence the need for regulation.

Represented by Comfort Ajiboye, Director, Information and Technology in the ministry, Mohammed stressed that the increased demand for streaming services in Nigeria grew amid the pandemic.

In his opening address, the NFVCB director Adedayo Thomas said that the conference was in a bid to bring together stakeholders in a conversation with the goal of creating policies and regulations for streaming service in the country.

"With over 50 per cent internet penetration, it has become imperative to convene this conference to bring together stakeholders and legislators in a conversation so as to come up with crystal policies on the regulation of streamers and content providers,” Thomas said.

While reiterating the board's promise to not stifle creativity, Thomas defended the government's new approach by stating that streaming service providers were unable to self-regulate hence the need for regulatory policies.

The goal of regulation is not to stifle creativity but to create sanity and encourage healthy competition for socio-economic gains,” he added.

The FG's latest move follows the controversial ban of social media platform, Twitter.

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