Community radio: an instrument for good governance in Nigeria
Decree No. 38 of 1992 enacted under the administration of General Ibrahim B. Babangida put a stop to fifty seven years of government’s exclusive ownership and operation of broadcasting in Nigeria. However, with the cost of setting-up, management and obtaining license for media station being prohibitively expensive, the system can only be accessed by the rich and powerful in the society, thereby depriving rural communities’ involvement in the development of the country. As part of the panoply of strategies to ensure rural communities’ participation in democratic governance, there is need for the establishment of rural community radio stations, which is very much different from educational institutions’ type currently being paraded as community radios but rather a training room for communication and theatre arts students. Using historical-analytic method, this article looks at the role community radio could play in making good governance in Nigeria accessible to every segment of society, especially the rural populace. Therefore, it is recommended that Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) policy should consider the inclusion of community radio as the third in the sector of radio broadcasting in Nigeria after public and commercial ownership. Furthermore, since community radio is essentially non-for-profit, government should make the operation licence free or at a minimal cost to the host community.
Keywords: Community radio, NBC, Good governance, People’s participation, Nigeria