Monday, December 03, 2007

Community Development Principles and Strategies for Campus Radio Stations Communique


*/This communiqué emerged from a four-day workshop on Community
Development Principles and Strategies for Campus Radio Stations held at
the Confluence Beach Hotel, Lokoja, Nigeria. The workshop was organized
by the Institute of Media and Society (IMS) and the Open Society
Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). Participants were representatives of
approved/licensed radio broadcasting stations and awaiting–approval
radio projects in higher education institutions in Nigeria./*


We, the participants of the workshop, which was held from 26^th to 29^th
November 2007, make the following observations:

     * The decision of the federal government to approve radio stations
       for educational institutions portends positive developments for
       access to media, communication pluralism and national development
       in general.
     * The federal government started a policy reform process in 2004,
       but the final documents from the process are still being awaited
       by the public.
     * The regulatory body, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC),
       has been working assiduously in creating a conducive regulatory
       space for campus radio stations, and community radio stations, in
     * The operation of campus stations has immense potentials for the
       development of Nigerian academic communities.
     * The enthusiasm to establish and operate campus stations is high in
       Nigerian educational institutions. But the licence approval
       process is not keeping pace with demands from academic communities.
     * Authorities of the institutions still require some
       capacity-building interactions to facilitate appropriate
       management and optimization of benefits of campus radio.
     * Continuing regulatory reviews and decisions by the NBC are
       throwing up issues which will require continuing engagement with
     * Licence approvals have so far been limited to academic communities
       while applications for licences by other types of community such
       as rural, sub urban, etc are still waiting.

Following these observations, we make the following recommendations:

1.      Educational institutions who have obtained or about to obtain
broadcast licenses should:

(a)             recognize the diversity of the campus community in the
management of campus radio stations/projects;

(b)             understand and manage campus radio as non-profit and
community development tools;

(c)             encourage the campus radio stations to generate
programmes that would be relevant to their primary and secondary

(d)             establish mechanisms that will ensure accountability and
transparency in the day-to-day running of the campus radio stations.

2.      The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should:

(a)             Continue and strengthen its productive interactions with
stakeholders to, among other things, ensure that its decisions continue
to be in consonance with international best  practices and that
regulatory information on campus radio management is available to
stakeholders on a timely basis;

(b)             create public awareness on the need for citizens to
monitor professional performance of radio stations and to channel
complaints for regulatory actions;

(c)             discontinue the regulatory provision which requires
campus stations to pay 2.5% of their annual turnover to the NBC;

(d)             standardize the allocation of transmitter power between
100 watts to 500 watts, depending on the physical, geographical and
other characteristics of the institutions;

(e)             approve the re-use of frequencies (among other options)
to address the needs of multi-campus institutions and those with
Distance Learning mandates.

3.      The Federal Government should:

(a)             Expedite action on the pending policy reform processes.
In this connection, the National Mass Communication Policy, the
Community Radio Policy and the National Frequency Spectrum Management
Policy should be released, while the review bill on the National
Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act should be re-introduced in the
National Assembly.

(b)             Fast track the approval of all pending licenses
applications for campuses and other types of communities, in line with
global trends.

4.      The Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (CRC) should:

(a)             Develop a strong framework for self-regulation for
campus radio stations;

(b)             Work towards creating campus radio networking in areas
of training, content sharing, programme syndication and extending
collaboration with other tiers of broadcasting;

(c)             Partner closely with the National Broadcasting
Commission (NBC)  to realize the success of campus radios

*Issued in Lokoja, Nigeria, this 29^th day of November, 2007.*

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