The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revealed details about the approved establishment a new radio station dedicated to reaching Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.
This is as it called on all broadcasting stations to exercise restraint in the treatment of sensitive issues that could threaten the unity and stability of Nigeria.
EduCeleb.com recalls that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had announced that the government had granted licence for the operation of the state-run Fulani radio during a valedictory press briefing on Monday, 21st May.
He said the radio station, which would operate on the AM frequency would be managed by the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE).
This move has largely attracted criticism from citizens who see the move as suspicious.
NBC in a statement on Saturday attempted to clear the air on this while urging broadcast stations to abide by media ethics in their reportage of the controversy.
It stated, “The commission is reacting to the media controversy over the license granted to the National Commission for Nomadic Education for the establishment of a radio station to operate on the AM band.
“The National Commission for Nomadic Education duly applied for the broadcast license in furtherance of its objectives to develop and maintain nomadic education outreach programmes, including electronically mediated ones.
“The letter of provisional approval dated September 28, 2018, was issued to the National Commission for Nomadic Education. The duration of the license is from October 8, 2018, to October 8, 2023.”
The NBC noted that the station’s programmes, which it describes as “purely educational,” were designed to cater for the interest of migrant fishermen, herders, hunters, farmers, and migrants.
It added, “Consequently, it is a misrepresentation for any person or organisation to imply that the licensed station was just for a particular group.
“The commission wishes to state that similar educational broadcast licences were issued to institutions of higher learning and other governmental institutions with comparable needs, such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Federal Road safety Commission, and related institutions.
“Specifically, the Commission enjoins broadcasting stations to take special note of the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which emphasise peace and national integration.”
Citing Sections 3.1.2 and 5.5.5 of the broadcasting code, the NBC said, while upholding professionalism and observing global best practices, stations were further advised to treat potentially divisive issues with tact and sensitivity.
“The commission, therefore, reiterates that broadcast organisations are expected to exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, rights or supporters as highlighted in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” it added.