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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Workshop applauds FG over campus radio stations

A four-day workshop on community development principles and strategies for campus radio stations ended recently at Lokoja, capital city of Kogi State in the southern part of Nigeria, with applause for the federal government over the decision to approve radio stations for tertiary institutions in the country.

Participants which cut across the representatives of both approved and licensed radio broadcasting stations as well as those awaiting–approval, concurred that the decision indicates positive developments for access to media, communication pluralism and national development in general.

The workshop organised by the Institute of Media and Society (IMS) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) also observed that the government policy reform in this regard, which began in 2004, is long overdue for submission.

They also gave kudos to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for assiduously working towards creating a conducive regulatory environment for campus radio stations, and community radio stations to thrive eventually.

Participants pointed out that the operations of campus stations would have immense potentials for the development of Nigerian academic communities, even as the enthusiasm to establish and operate campus stations is high in Nigerian educational institutions.

“But the licence approval process is not keeping pace with demands from academic communities,” a communiqué made available to our correspondent said.Just as they identified tertiary education authorities in the country still require some capacity-building interactions to facilitate appropriate management and optimization of benefits of campus radio.

Participants equally called for continuous regulatory reviews between NBC and stakeholders, decrying, however, that licence approvals have so far been limited to academic communities while applications for licences by other types of community such as rural, sub-urban remain inclusive before the regulatory body.

They further recommended that educational institutions who have obtained or about to obtain broadcast licenses should recognize the diversity of the campus community in the management of campus radio stations.

In addition school authorities should understand and manage campus radio as non-profit and community development tools, encourage the campus radio stations to generate programmes that would be relevant to their primary and secondary communities, as well as establish mechanisms that will ensure accountability and transparency in the day-to-day running of the campus radio stations, among others.

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