The Nigerian Press Council (NPC) is a parastatal established by the Nigerian Press Council Act No. 85 of 1992 (as amended in Act 60 of 1999) to ensure the maintenance of high professional standards for the Nigerian Press. Like most other Press Councils around the world, the functions of the Nigerian Press Council revolve around ethical standards.
The Council, therefore, has as one of its major functions, the duty to enquire into complaints against the Press from the Public and also into Complaints from the Press about the conduct of persons or organizations towards the Press. Simply put, the Council serves as a buffer between the Press and the public.
Attempts to establish this self regulatory body for the Nigerian Press started as far back as two decades ago with the setting up of a commission named the Ekineh Commission. The Commission which was set up after a distinguished Nigerian attorney by the General Yakubu Gowon government was to study the future of the Nigerian media. It however did not make its findings public and so it was an exercise in futility. Further attempt was made through the establishment of the Nigerian Media Council Decree No 59 of 1988 but which was aborted largely because journalists were a bit apprehensive by the seemingly totalitarian powers conferred on the Council.
The current statute, the Nigerian Press Council Act No. 85 is more or less a consensus Act arising from hard bargaining between government and the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), an umbrella body for the major stakeholders in the industry. These stakeholders include the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); and the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).