By Olayinka Owolewa
Ilorin – Workers of the Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation, (Radio Kwara), on Wednesday in Ilorin shut down the station and staged a protest over lack of operational equipment and welfare package for staff
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the State Government’s move to cancel the AM Station was part of the trigger for the protest.
A staff who pleaded anonymity said the State government was planning to evacuate the staff from its GRA office to Budo Efo transmission area, a suburb of Ilorin, the Kwara capital.
“This Budo Efo always affects the reproductive organs of the staff working there ,due to the effect of radiation of the old transmitter and the antenna .
“If you notice, some of the staff posted to Budo-efo are childless. while few ones that had children have their children deformed.
“The last option given us is to transfer all the staff to Budo-Efo particularly to enable them sell the land harbouring Radio Kwara AM.
“As we speak, the land surrounding Radio Kwara 2, Midland FM has been sold.
“Since KWIRS has taken over our revenue, to buy diesel to power the station is a problem. That is why both AM and FM stations are running skeletal transmission always.
“The Sole Administrator, Dr. Muyideen Akorede has destroyed the station through his shoddy repositioning since 2016,” the source said.
The source further explained that Dr. Akorede always shortchanged the station’s General Manager by not releasing monthly subventions to run the station since the state government took over the station’s Internally Generated Revenue.
Another worker claimed that virtually all departments in Radio Kwara, including the newsroom, lack working facilities and tools.
He said the state government had perfected plans to kill the AM station and concentrate on Midland FM 99.0 at Apata Yukuba, Ilorin.
“The same FM is dying. The next one is overall welfare of staff, delay in payment of meagre salaries, among others,” he said.
“The state government officials including Dr. Akorede are now patronising private radio stations in the state, paying huge amounts to feature on their programmes living Radio Kwara to die.
“All the staff have been demoralised. We are staging this protest not because of us, but because of the future of Radio Kwara and the state at large.,” he added.
Dr. Akorede, who is the Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media and Communication to the state Governor and Sole Administrator for all state owned media houses, said rainstorm destroyed a device which necessitated the movement from GRA office to Budo Efo.
He explained that it was in the spirit of keeping the station running that the staff were asked to move to Budo Efo temporarily.
Dr. Akorede explained that N5m has been released to the station for its running cost and that the only salary owed the staff was that of August, which will be paid before the end of the week.
The Governor’s aide boasted that no TV station in the North Central of Nigeria can match the standard of the repositioned state owned television station (KWTV).
He claimed that the state government pays for all its jingles that it runs on Radio Kwara.