Nigeria’s National Media Complaints Commission took off on Monday, 4 April 2023, with nine members and FrontFoot Media Initiative director Eluem Emeka Izeze as chairman.
NMCC will be an independent forum for resolving complaints about the press quickly, fairly, and free of charge; maintain high standards of Nigerian Journalism and journalistic ethics; and defend the freedom of the press and the rights of the people to know.
NMCC draws membership from the media, bar, academia, and civil society.
Other members are a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Paul University, Awka, and Dr Hussain Abdu, a Development Specialist and Country Director, Care International (Nigeria).
Other members are Mr Lanre Idowu, Editor-in-Chief, Diamond Publications Ltd. and Founder, Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (DAME); Mr Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA); Mrs. Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo, a journalist, lawyer and arbitrator; Mrs Eugenia Abu, broadcaster, author, and columnist, and the Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, Hon Segun Odebunmi.
Drivers of the process are the Nigeria Press Organisation (NPO) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON). The Nigeria Press Organisation comprises the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Other collaborators are civil society organisations and MacArthur Foundation.
The drivers directed media houses in the country to institute a local ombudsman at their levels. The National Ombudsman will serve as an appellate body for the local Ombudsman and a court of first instance.
Vanguard publisher Sam Amuka charged the Commission to ensure highly professionalised and free media in the country.
NPAN president Mr Kabiru A Yusuf, president of the Nigeria Press Organisation, stated, “The media is weary of government regulation because politicians tend to have short goals. We are happy to submit to peer regulation by collaborating with civil society, business, and the profession”.
Among those present at the event were Prince Nduka Obaigbena, CON, FNGE, Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper/NPAN Life Patron, Prince Dennis Sami, NPAN Council member and Publisher of The Pilot, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay, Fidelis Anosike, Publisher of Daily Times, Mustapha Isah, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Chief Chris Isiguzo, MFR, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Ms. Maureen Chigbo, President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP).