Imagine the sea without water, Earth without oxygen and a world without radio.
13th February was adopted by UNESCO as World Radio Day, a day chosen to celebrate the single technology that has most revolutionized the way people have communicated over the years.
The theme for this year’s World Radio Day is “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”, in recognition of radio broadcasting as a medium for dialogue between party’s and groups, and its potential as a tool for engendering tolerance and peace between people all over the world.
History of Radio In Nigeria
Radio broadcasting was introduced to colonial Nigeria in 1933 by the British imperial government. The Radio Distribution System (RDS) brought by the British was at the time a base for receiving British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) signals and relaying same to receivers throughout the colony. It was under the purview of the Department of Post and Telegraph (P&T) in Lagos. 1939 saw the establishment of the first radio station in Nigeria – the Ibadan station followed five years later by the commissioning of the Kano radio station.
The National Broadcasting Service commenced operations in 1951 as a replacement for the RDS, giving rise to a number of autonomous regional radio stations in Kaduna (Northern Nigeria), Enugu (Eastern Nigeria) and Ibadan (Western Nigeria) with provincial centers in Jos, Kano, Sokoto, Maiduguri, and Ilorin. These radio stations met the domestic demands of the regions leading up to Independence. The Voice of Nigeria was the first radio station established after independence, as the official international broadcasting station of Nigeria.
It wasn’t until 1978 that the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) was established, following a bill of the House of representative for the creation of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) as the statutory provider and regulator of broadcasting services in the country.
Nigeria’s first private-owned radio station Ray Power FM was launched in 1994. Before then radio broadcasting had been under the exclusive monopoly of the government. This led to the offspring of private radio stations in different parts of the country. Today there are at least 369 licensed radio stations in operation (not including internet radio), most of them privately owned.
How Has Radio Affected Us?
Radio technology has so much become a part of our everyday life. It is our source of breaking news, information, education, and entertainment, and has over the years shaped people’s opinions and worldview. It determines cultures and trends, and helps us decide our actions (in reaction to information gained). The availability of portable transistor radios even means that we can stay connected to the rest of the world, constantly informed, educated and entertained 24/7 on the go.
As events lead up to the general elections, let us remember to put this all-important mass medium to good use, to resolve our differences, and bring about a Nigeria where each person is tolerant of the other, irrespective of their ethnic, political or religious bias or affiliations.
Featured image source: Your Story