This communiqué was issued by participants in the Seminar on Developing Community Radio in Nigeria, held in Enugu, Nigeria, from the 25th to the 26th of May 2010.
The programme was organized by the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC) with support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom.
The participants were drawn from civil society organizations and grassroots communities in the south-east and south-south geo-political zones of the country.
The objectives of the seminar were strengthen the capacity of organizations and communities, and generate further strategies for advocacy and community capacity-building geared towards the development of a sustainable community radio sector in Nigeria.
The event featured presentations, discussions, practical group work, among other activities.
After exhaustive deliberations, the participants observed as follows;
1. Nigeria is yet to domesticate the African Charter on Broadcasting to which it has subscribed and which provides for, among other things, a three-tier broadcasting structure comprising the public, commercial and community sub-sectors.
2. Nigeria remains the only country in West Africa that does not have a public policy on community radio development and has not licensed grassroot community radio.
3. Community radio is a veritable tool for meaningful change that Nigeria can use to accelerate development.
4. The reform efforts being made by the government of Nigeria on broadcasting in the areas of policy are laudable but slow.
5. The continued denial of Nigerian grassroot communities the opportunity of owning Community Radio amounts to denial of access to adequate information as well as development in the communities.
The seminar recommends as follows:
1. The Federal government should domesticate the African Charter on Broadcasting by concluding the policy reform processes it has initiated and starting the licensing of community radio stations in grassroots communities.
2. In order to accelerate the development of community radio in the country, the approval of licences should be delegated to the regulatory body, that is, the National Broadcasting Commission
3. Communities across the country should intensify their consultation and planning processes for the establishment of their own radio stations.
4. Tertiary institutions and other training institutions across the country should update their curricula to incorporate community broadcasting and be available to train upcoming community broadcasters.
5. The Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC) should intensify its work in advocacy and community capacity building.
6. The National Assembly should as a matter of urgency, pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill into law.
7. Participants in this seminar should step down the training at the communities and organizations they represented.
Issued in Enugu, Enugu State, this 26th day of May, 2010.