This communiqué was issued by participants at the end of a two-day Workshop on Building Community Radio for Democratic Governance in Nigeria which was held in Kaduna, Kaduna State, on February 13 and 14, 2014.
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 II) project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The DGD II project is a joint donor-funded project managed by the UNDP in support of deepening democracy in Nigeria. The project is funded with contributions from the European Union, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the UNDP.
The participants were drawn from grassroots communities establishing community radio stations, civil society and community-based organizations and the media in the North-East and North-West zones of the country.
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 use of community radio.
Participants observed the following:
I. Communities in the North-East and North-West zones of the country are in dire need of effective grassroots communication facilities, in particular, community radio, and many of them have reached advanced stages of establishing this medium.
II. The process of granting radio licenses to grassroots communities has dragged for too long, despite the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2010 that the licensing should commence immediately.
III. Community radio will contribute significantly to governance processes and development agenda of government, such as peace building, civic education, and other initiatives in the North-East and North-West.
IV. Across the globe, including Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, community radio continues to be part and parcel of the process of deepening democracy and development.
The participants recommended as follows:
- National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), as regulatory body, should commence the issuance of community radio licences to communities without further delay – in line with the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in October 2010.
- Federal and State Government agencies whose mandate is for community and rural development should partner with grassroots communities and civil society groups for communication skill building towards the success of the electoral process in Nigeria.
- The Institute for Media and Society in collaboration with Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC) should intensify collaborations with media organizations to conduct awareness and sensitisation activities on community radio development for more communities in the North-East and North-West geo-political zones
- Communities intending to establish community radio should intensify their efforts and ensure that appropriate steps are being followed in the process, to enable the emergence of viable community radio stations to aid voice and accountability.
- Academia should intensify research on issues of community radio development in Nigeria.
- The Institute of Media and Society and the Nigerian Community Radio Coalition should strengthen communities’ capacities for resource mobilization to empower community radio establishment across the zone.
- Development partners in collaboration with NCRC should continue to support the efforts of communities in the area of capacity building targeted for the development of community radio in Nigeria.
- International development partners should promote and strengthen the advocacy for community radio licensing in Nigeria by making it as part of their agenda to government.