Nigerian government says it is investigating why the reality TV series Big Brother Nigeria, which was re-launched on Sunday as Big Brother Naija, is being shot in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is to investigate why the event could not hold on Nigerian soil.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, asked the NBC to determine whether Multi-Choice has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way, by shooting the show in South Africa, as well as the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would be staged outside Nigeria.
“As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,” the statement signed by Mohammed’s spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi, said on Tuesday.
Nigerians have condemned the decision by South African company, Multichoice, the organisers, the move the show elsewhere.
Multichoice, organisers of the Big Brother Naija Reality TV show, said hosting the show in South Africa would enable it achieve high production and meet timelines.
A statement issued by Caroline Oghuma on behalf of the company explained that the shooting of the show in South Africa would enable it use its fully equipped house.
“We have a fully equipped house in South Africa, which is used for the Big Brother shows.
“This means that we are able to achieve high production values whilst meeting tight timelines and ensuring the show comes to our viewers on time as planned, and with the same globally renowned quality.
“The house has played host to other Big Brother countries including; the general Big Brother Africa, Mozambique, Angola and now Nigeria,” the statement quoted Oghuma as saying.
Big Brother Naija debuted in 2006.
After a 10-year break, Big Brother Nigeria, a reality TV show in which 12 contestants called housemates lived in an isolated house and competed for a large cash prize, made its way to the screens again as Big Brother Nigeria.
NAN reports that the Big Brother Naija is a special Nigerian version of the continental show Big Brother Africa.
It was specially coined to suit the viewing interest of the Nigerian viewers who largely expressed displeasure over the controversial “Shower Hour” and nudity.
John Ugbe, the Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that the return of the reality show was based on popular demand by people who wanted it back.
He said “the show has been well developed following the successes of past seasons of Big Brother Africa.