Federal Government Pledges Support for Community Radio Stations

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Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation

The Federal Government has pledged its commitment to expanding and supporting the community radio sector to strengthen the country’s democracy. The was made by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, in a statement released to commemorate World Radio Day on February 13, 2024.

Alhaji Idris noted that World Radio Day is celebrated annually every February 13, with this year’s theme being “Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating.”

The Minister acknowledged the remarkable achievement of radio as a means of communication and information for over 100 years, despite the advent of social media. He also highlighted radio’s vital role in shaping public opinion and promoting cultural unity in Nigeria, providing a platform for people of all backgrounds to speak out, be represented, and be heard, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.

The Minister revealed that the government has initiated necessary reforms in the process of establishing more community radio stations and is ready to provide a more conducive environment for other radio stations to emerge and at the same time strengthen the 89 already established ones.

He called for investments in community radio stations, stressing that such investment would undoubtedly strengthen democracy, promote social cohesion, and provide those living in rural areas with access to credible information, in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

He noted that the Federal Government will collaborate with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to drive these reforms and develop the required capacity in the sector to strengthen radio’s ability to disseminate credible and reliable information to the people.

The Minister urged all radio stations, whether traditional or online, to be more responsible in their operations by adhering to the principles and ethics of broadcasting, with fact-checking, objectivity, and balance.

He congratulated radio listeners and urged them to use radio to learn, grow, and make their voices heard. He also congratulated UNESCO for reminding us of the value radio adds to our lives.

Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/67/124) in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD).