In a statement released on Tuesday to mark World Radio Day, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, announced the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to bolstering community radio as a crucial tool for reinforcing the nation’s democracy.
World Radio Day, observed annually on February 13, was celebrated with the theme “Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating.” The minister emphasized the enduring significance of radio as a means of communication and information for over a century, even in the face of social media advancements.
Highlighting radio’s pivotal role in shaping public opinion and fostering cultural unity, Idris asserted that it serves as a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to express themselves, ensuring representation and amplification of voices regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.
Acknowledging the radio’s historic role in Nigeria since 1933, the minister underscored its unique ability to reach a wide audience, making it an ideal medium for disseminating government plans and programs to all levels of society, including grassroots communities.
While Nigeria currently boasts 89 licensed community radio stations, Idris emphasized the government’s commitment to creating a more conducive environment for emerging radio stations and strengthening existing ones under the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
The minister called for increased investments in community radio stations, citing their potential to strengthen democracy, promote social cohesion, and provide rural communities with access to credible information aligning with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Idris urged all radio stations, traditional or online, to uphold responsible operations by adhering to broadcasting principles and ethics, including fact-checking, objectivity, and balance.
He concluded by congratulating radio listeners, encouraging them to use radio for learning, growth, and making their voices heard, while also commending UNESCO for highlighting the value radio adds to our lives. Happy World Radio Day!