Nigeria can boast a big number of radio stations; some of them are government owned while a good number of them are privately owned. While most of the radio stations predominantly air programmes in the English language, a few others take advantage of the dialectical variations and multi-ethnic nature of the country and therefore, broadcast in the local languages of the communities they most widely reach out to.
An Overview of the History of Nigeria’s Radio
Nigerian radio broadcasting has existed for approximately 90 years now. The first radio station in Nigeria was established in Ibadan in 1939. Another station was created in Kano in 1944. In 1949, it was suggested that a Nigerian National Broadcasting Service (NBS) be created, rather than the singularly existing RDS.
This idea came to life in 1951. The NBS operated in Lagos. The new National Broadcasting Service was a useful organization. It gave a start to several regional radio stations. They were launched in different states, including Kaduna, Jos, Enugu, Ilorin, Jos, and Maiduguri. The Parliament decided to reorganize NBS into NBC (the new three-letter acronym meant Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation) in 1957, three years before independence.
Raypower: Blazing like the Rays
The radio broadcasting industry in Nigeria was predominantly run by the government for well over 5 decades. It actually took 55 years before Nigeria had its first private radio station. This breakthrough set the pace for so many others to follow years later. The trail blazer appeared in the form of Raypower 100.5 FM is a Nigerian radio station; a radio broadcasting outfit owned by DAAR Communications, a communication firm founded by Raymond Dokpesi.
Raypower historically became Nigeria’s first private radio station when it was launched in 1994. Its establishment was as a result of an earlier decree made by the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida. This decree was the National Broadcasting Commission decree in the early 1990s; a decree that was issued to decentralize Nigeria’s media and industry and create an opportunity for private broadcasting corporations to penetrate the industry/market.
Prior to that time, the Nigerian media was dominated by the government only and information was only made possible from government-owned broadcasting firms. This decree was advantageous and benefiting to the Nigerian media industry. It gave Raypower FM, through Daar Communications, the singular privilege of becoming the pacesetter in the world of Nigeria’s media for the likes of Galaxy TV, Silverbird TV, MBI television, Rhythm FM and an endless list of other private radio and television stations.
Founded by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the much respected and revered media mogul and guru, Raypower Fm set the precedence for the TV network of DAAR Communications; also Africa’s first independent television or Africa’s first satellite television station, which is called the Africa Independent Television (AIT).
Because of Dokpesi’s prowess and enterprising characteristics in the media Industry, he has also been likened or referred to in some cycles, as the Ted Turner of Nigeria. It has also been claimed that he attributes to himself and AIT, the major influence on other media houses, especially with regards to the salary structure; setting the standard so high that many major media houses imitated.
At the moment, Nigeria is burdened with the proliferation of media houses and privately radio stations in particular. Some notable ones across different states includes Cool FM, Invicta FM, Liberty FM, Kiss FM, Wazobia FM, Inspiration FM, Brila FM, Beat FM etc.
Featured image source: livefromnaija.com