The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has called on radio broadcasters to recognise the power of they have and exercise such with great responsibility and sensitivity.
In a message yesterday to mark World Radio Day with the theme, ‘Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster’, NBC urged radio broadcasters to produce programmes that present radio as a lifeline during emergencies and help to empower people in devastated communities, aside providing the citizenry with information that would empower them, give them a means of livelihood and sense of dignity.
The broadcast regulator described the theme as very relevant to Nigeria, in the face of mindless killing of innocent Nigerians by a misguided sect, known as Bokoharam, as well as perennial floods, which together have continued to devastate homes and farmlands and create millions of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
“At the National Broadcasting Commission, we recognise radio as an effective medium to reach remote communities and vulnerable people to provide necessary information, essential to saving lives. We also recognise the need to ensure the safety of journalists as they cover disasters. We call for adequate insurance cover for journalists and well as reasonable access to ground zero in all cases.”
The Commission stated that practitioners must ensure that radio give access to the people to express themselves and participate in the decision-making process that would affect their lives. “In line with this, the Commission is empowering the local people to raise their voices and be heard through the grant of community radio licenses.”
It also said it remains committed to protecting radio frequencies and making sure they are available in times of emergency. “And with the successful switchover to digital broadcasting, the Commission hopes to promote the effective utilization of the spectrum, as a tool for national development.
“As we mark this year’s World Radio Day, we join the United Nations to urge all radio broadcasters in Nigeria to use radio to promote the sustainable development goals, to transform our world and demonstrate that, indeed, radio saves lives.”