Lafia – The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Monday banned media outfits owned by the state from covering its activities.
The assembly took the decision because the media organisations demanded payment from the assembly for live coverage of events at the assembly.
The assembly took the decision after deliberating on a letter from the Nasarawa State Broadcasting Service (NBS), demanding N10 million monthly as against N500,000 for live coverage of the assembly’s sitting.
Mr Godiya Akwashiki (PDP-Nasarawa Eggon West) raised the issue at a plenary session while discussing the letter sent to the house by the management of the NBS.
Akwashiki, who is also the Majority Leader of the house, told his colleagues that the General Manager of NBS, Mr Yusuf Musa, said that five commissioners and some advisers had directed that the outside broadcast van (OB Van) should not be brought to the house for live coverage during proceedings.
“It is uncalled for and unfortunate for the general manager to take that decision to deny the people of the state the live proceedings of the activities of the house,” he said.
Mr Peter Mbucho (PDP-Akwanga North) also urged his colleagues to ban the state media outfits from covering the activities of the house.
“After all, it is the assembly that approves the budget of all government agencies, including the state media outfits, why are they denying them and the people of the state their right to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
“Will they ask the executive to pay for such services when they are called upon, will the executive too pay for such services?,” he asked.
Mr Baba Ibaku (PDP-Udege/Loko), seconded the motion for the ban of the media outfits from covering the activities of the house.
Ibaku, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Information, called on the legislature to seek alternatives.
According to him, the assembly has made arrangements for live coverage from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria’s Precious FM Station in Lafia.
Ruling on the motion, the Speaker of the House, Mr Ahmed Musa, directed all workers from the state’s owned media outfits to leave the assembly immediately.
Musa (PDP-Nasarawa Central), also directed the House Committee on Information to carryout thorough investigation on the matter and report back its findings for action. (NAN)