In Nigeria, approximately 800 community radio stations will begin broadcasting throughout rural areas of the country to disseminate information about the federal government’s policies and programs, according to AllAfrica.com.
Director General of the National Orientation Agency Mike Omeri, said that, in collaboration with the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition, the radio stations would start transmission before the middle of the year. He revealed this during a briefing and strategy meeting organized by the NGO Democratic Governance for Development. This was the forum’s 10th year advocating for community radio, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Omeri explained that the new radio stations are a result of problems found in rural communities that currently have less access to information about the government, and the Director of Research and Policy Joseph Obodeze added that some areas receive radio transmissions from neighboring Cameroon instead of Nigerian stations.
In addition to creating over 12,0000 jobs, according to Omeri, the new radio stations, which will broadcast in the local languages of the geographic or territorial communities they serve, are necessary for the National Orientation Agency to fulfill its mandate and to break the current media monopoly. Omeri said the stations are necessary to make citizens aware of governmental policies and ensure their efficacy, as well as promote cultural values, according to news sources.
President Goodluck Jonathan was also cited as committed to issuing licenses for community radio stations, echoing the timeline second quarter timeline mentioned by Omeri. The Minister of Information and Communication Labaran Maku also expressed his support through Obodeze, who acted as his representative.
Omeri also pledged to follow the code of ethics set by the National Broadcasting Corporation.
The Director General of Democratic Governance for Development Dr. Mourtadada Deme said that the project and its international partners (the European Union, the U.K.’s Department for International Development, the Canada International Development Agency and the United Nations Development program) support the renewed advocacy for community radio.
“As Nigeria progresses in its democratic development, community radio will foster community dialogue, strengthen the integrity of the electoral process, contribute to transparency and accountability of governance institutions at the grassroots and facilitates citizens participation in governance,” said Deme.