The House of Representatives in Nigeria has started considering a bill which will make it illegal for anyone without the minimum qualification of a bachelor’s degree or higher national diploma (HND) in journalism or other related courses to practice journalism in the country.
The bill is being sponsored by Francis Agbo, the member representing Ado/Ogbadigbo/Okpokwu federal constituency.https://www.youtube.com/embed/gvtYyd6FfPc
Newspot understands the bill tagged the Nigerian Press Council Amendment Bill 2019 has already passed first reading on the floor of the house.
The bill which is already scheduled for second reading, seeks to amend some sections of the Nigerian Press Council Act Cap N128 LFN 2004.
Part of what the bill is seeking is to make it compulsory for anyone seeking to practice journalism in Nigeria to have “a first degree, Higher National Diploma certificate or its equivalence in Journalism, Media Art or Communication from any higher institution in Nigeria or elsewhere”.
The bill makes provision for those without the basic requirements listed above to “within five years obtain a postgraduate certificate in Journalism, Media Art, Communication or related field from any higher institution in Nigeria or elsewhere”.
According to the media aide to the lawmaker sponsoring the bill, Andrew Agbese the aim of the bill is to redefine the journalism practice and curtail quackery in the profession.
“The Bill has aroused interest in the media, given the extent quacks and fakes have infiltrated the industry, bringing the image of journalists to an all-time low in Nigeria,” he said in a statement.
“The Bill, when passed into law will address these challenges by redefining and refining the media industry and by extension, strengthening democracy and hence the need to define who a journalist is, what qualification qualifies him to be a journalist, and stipulates punishment for defaulters and quakes.”