The 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 Mr. 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.
Big Brother Naija debuted in 2006.
Mimidoo Ucheagwu, a PR agent for Multichoice/Dstv, who said she was not authorised to speak on the matter, told PREMIUM TIMES that NBC has been engaged on the matter.
“The press will be properly briefed in no distant time,” she added.
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.
The host of the show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a former housemate, said he remains one of the biggest supporters of the show.
Every Sunday on the show, viewers are expected to witness an eviction of a housemate.
The winner of the 11-week contest will be given N25 million cash prize and a brand-new Kia Sorento SUV car.
The series will run for 78 days and end on April 9.
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.