The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, announced on Tuesday the Federal Government’s dedicated commitment to expanding community radio as a means to fortify the nation’s democracy. This proclamation coincided with the celebration of World Radio Day, observed annually on February 13.
Under the theme, ‘Radio: A Century Informing, Entertaining, and Educating,’ Idris emphasized the enduring significance of radio in communication for over 100 years. He acknowledged radio’s pivotal role in shaping public opinion, fostering cultural unity, and providing an inclusive platform for diverse voices regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.
Idris highlighted ongoing government efforts to enhance the community radio landscape, citing 89 licensed community radio stations in Nigeria. He affirmed the administration’s readiness, led by President Bola Tinubu, to create a conducive environment for new radio stations to emerge while strengthening existing ones.
The minister underscored radio’s historical importance in Nigeria since 1933, stressing its ability to reach a broad audience and serve as a valuable tool for disseminating government plans and programs, including grassroots communication. Recognizing the power of radio to connect with people in local languages, the government has initiated reforms to make community radio more reliable, efficient, and affordable.
Idris called for investments in community radio stations, asserting that such investments would enhance democracy, promote social cohesion, and provide rural communities with access to credible information. The minister pledged collaboration with UNESCO to drive these reforms and develop the necessary capacity in the sector.
He urged all radio stations, traditional or online, to operate responsibly by adhering to broadcasting principles and ethics, including fact-checking, objectivity, and balance. In concluding, Idris congratulated radio listeners, encouraging them to utilize radio for learning, growth, and making their voices heard. He extended congratulations to UNESCO for highlighting the value radio adds to our lives, wishing everyone a Happy World Radio Day.