A two-day Workshop on Building Community Radio for Democratic Development in Nigeria was held in Akure, Ondo State

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IMG_0762A two-day Workshop on Building Community Radio for Democratic Development in Nigeria was held in Akure, Ondo State, on Tuesday, October 08 and Wednesday, October 09, 2013.  The objective of the workshop was to expand citizens participation in the democratic process and particularly, to build the capacity of grassroots groups for active participation in the deepening of democracy in Nigeria through the instrumentality of community radio.

The programme was organised by the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) in collaboration with the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC) with support from Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The DGD project is joint donor-funded project managed by the UNDP in support of deepening democracy in Nigeria. 

Participation

The workshop was attended by community radio stakeholders from various parts of the South-West and North-Central zones of the country. The participants were representatives of community groups establishing community radio, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and the media.

The programme was facilitated by community radio advocates and experts while activities were conducted in plenary and break-out sessions.

At the end of the meeting, the participants thanked UNDP-DGD, IMS, NCRC, the facilitators, and unanimously agreed to adopt this Communiqué.

Observations

The participants observed as follows:

  • The advocacy for the actualization of community radio in Nigeria is already ten years old. During the period of ten years, various milestones had been reached. These include the design of a specific community radio development policy document by the government in 2006 and the pronouncement by the President of Nigeria in October 2010 that licencing of community radio should start. The President’s instruction is still to be effected.
  • All over the world, including the West African sub-region, community radio continues to expand and to make significant contributions to national development in diverse ways. Nigeria continues to be absent on the map of countries developing community radio and reaping the tremendous governance and development benefits.
  • Nigerian grassroots communities and other stakeholders continue to re-state that community radio development is paramount on their and the country’s development agenda, even as they intensify advocacy for its emergence in the country.
  • Strong voices for community radio development have also emerged from government agencies and development partners who implement activities in Nigerian grassroots.

Recommendations

The participants therefore recommended as follows:

To Government Agencies

  • The regulatory body, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and other appropriate government agencies should speed up the regulatory process and start the issuance of community radio licences before the end of year 2013, as instructed by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria in October 2010.
  • The NBC should review the Broadcasting Code to allow campus radio stations (already licensed and currently operating in educational institutions in various parts of the country) to provide voter education to their audiences, in the various stages of the electoral process.

To Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC)

  • The NCRC should expand its alliances and partnerships to include government institutions, such as the National Orientation Agency (NOA), to push through a successful advocacy for community radio broadcasting in Nigeria.
  • The NCRC should further undertake advocacy interactions with authorities within the Federal Government, particularly in the Executive and Legislative branches as well as the NBC to address any lingering issues so that implementation could be given to President Jonathan’s 2010 pronouncement.
  • The NCRC should intensify its capacity-building efforts in support of grassroots communities across the country.
  • The NCRC should put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure that community radio stations that would emerge in Nigeria, truly belong to their communities.
  • The Coalition should continue to provide capacity building support to campus radio stations for improved operational performance.

To Communities

  • Communities proposing to establish community radio stations should take advantage of available and cheap new technologies to build capacity and begin the process of content development. This will put them in a position to begin operations soon after they would have been licensed.
  • Communities intending to establish community radio stations should assess their needs and develop concrete plans through professionally developed feasibility studies and lessons learnt from best practices across the world.

To International Development Agencies and Partners

  • Should assist the advocacy and capacity development efforts of community radio stakeholders, including the grassroots communities.

Adopted in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, this 9th day of October 2013.

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