The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has asked the National Broadcasting Commission to halt the transmission of TV reality show, Big Brother Naija.
The minister said the need to stop the reality show, which entered its fifth season on July 20, became imperative due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Acting Director-General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, told senior management members of the commission at a meeting that he had been directed by the minister to shut down the show, according to TheCable.
Mohammed reportedly wanted the letter shutting down the show to come from the NBC because of the general opinion that he is bent on sending MultiChoice Ltd, producers of the show, out of Nigeria.
A director had told the meeting that the NBC had on July 1 sought an explanation from Multichoice Ltd on a possible violation of COVID-19 protocol with the airing of the show.
MultiChoice Ltd had subsequently replied the NBC stating the measures taken to forestall any violation of the Covid-19 protocol advised by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, adding that the Lagos State Safety Commission gave approval for the show.
The organisers also said housemates went through mandatory two-week isolation before the commencement of the show and that the BBN House had been disinfected and rearranged to ensure physical distancing, in addition to the elimination of live audience.
Idachaba, was, however, yet to convey the minister’s directive to the organisers of the show.
Efforts by The PUNCH to reach Idachaba proved abortive and a director in the Public Affairs Department of NBC when contacted by our correspondent said he was not permitted to speak on the matter.
When asked whether the commission would issue a statement to counter the report by TheCable, the official, who preferred not to be mentioned, said the commission was not thinking of doing that.