The Director and Country Representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), Abuja, Joseph Ngu has emphasised the need for community radio to be suited to the needs of rural communities.
Speaking at the occasion of the 1st World Radio Day Celebration which held in Abuja yesterday, he said, “the present scope of radio in Nigeria is not established to cater for the rural people who constitute the majority of the population.”
He opined that huge as the number of radio stations in Nigeria were, they are all situated in urban areas.
“Radio is a low cost mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people, the illiterates, disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level,” he said.
He maintained that: “Today the number of broadcasting stations in the country has at the last count risen to 394 from less than 30 at the end of 1991, including terrestrial and cable televisions, adding that according to the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Nigeria has 137 radio stations, made up of 44 federal government owned, 41, state government owned, 25 private owned and 27 campus radio stations.”
National Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Gbenga Onayiga in his presentation said the necessity of radio in a country like Nigeria? cannot be overemphasised as it remains the one medium of communication that more Nigerians listen to especially in the rural areas.
He stressed the need for the NBC to evaluate the cost of access to licenses which he said was on the high side? and urged them to consider the approval of more licences while speeding up the process of licence acquisitions.