By Christian Njoku
Calabar – Mr Okokon Ukpanyang, the Acting General Manager, Radio Nigeria, Canaan City FM, Calabar, on Thursday identified unstable power supply and poorly trained personnel as some of the major challenges of radio broadcasting in Nigeria.
Ukpanyang spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on the commemoration of World Radio Day (WRD).
World Radio Day is a UN celebration, formally endorsed on Jan. 14, 2013, and celebrated annually on Feb. 13 to raise awareness about radio as a medium of communication and to promote stronger networking among broadcasters globally.
The theme of the 2020 celebration is “Radio and Diversity” as proposed by UNESCO to encourage radio stations to uphold diversity in the newsroom and the airwave.
Ukpanyang said power supply was a major challenge to all radio stations in Nigeria as there was no station that did not operate on diesel generators for effective power supply to constantly power their activities.
He also said some stations had personnel who had not undergone any training on the rudiments of radio broadcasting and did not follow the ethics of the profession.
“If you depend on public power supply as a radio station in Nigeria you are finished because it simply means that whenever there is power outage you will go off-air; this is a major challenge for the industry.
“Another challenge is getting the right people to do the right things because there are certain things you do not say on air that is why practitioners need to be properly trained.
“Radio broadcasting is like any other profession, you do not expect every station to be the same. However, radio is a quick, sensitive and important means to get across to the people,” he said.
Similarly, the Managing Director of FAD FM, Calabar, Mr. Fidelis Duka, said it was good that every year the world celebrated radio as a major source of information dissemination.
Duka said the radio stations in Nigeria had always projected the theme of the year’s WRD by continually by preaching and promoting Nigeria’s unity in diversity.
He said the licence to run a radio station obtained from the government through the Nigerian Broadcasting Cooperation did not belong to the media houses but held in trust for the public.
He, however, complained of poor funding and power supply as major challenges of radio stations in the nation
“The major problem with radio and the media generally in Nigeria is funding, most stations work on a very slim budget as that sector has been poorly funded.
“In the last 20 to 30 years, if you must run a radio station in Nigeria, you must rely on diesel, imagine running a station on a daily basis for between 18 to 20 hours on generators, that is incurring huge cost.
“I read somewhere that a huge sum of money would be given to the Nigerian Television Authority to enable it to compete with CNN. If a small part of that amount is given to other media houses in the form of loans, the narrative will change.
“The government must realise the importance of making the Nigerian media survive for the sector to thrive,’’ he said.