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COMMENTARY ON WORLD RADIO DAY 2022

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The radio is a medium that have sustained its usage over time. It is a platform for providing information, educating people, allowing expression across cultures, and entertainment. No matter how advanced technology becomes, radio is an irreplaceable medium, especially, during the occurrence of natural or man-made disasters.

In 2011, at the 36th session of (UNESCO) general conference, February 13 was proclaimed as World Radio Day. This date was chosen by the UNESCO’s Director General as it was the anniversary date of the United Nations international broadcasting service, which was created on February 13, 1946.

World Radio Day is celebrated to preserve the timeless medium, and create awareness of the importance of radio. People and the media are encouraged to use radio for the dissemination of information, networking, and enhancing communication around the world.

The radio has been with us longer than any other kind of broadcast media. That means many people has access to it than most other technologies. There are lots of ways to get news, information, and entertainment. If one is getting it from cable, television or the internet, one probably have to pay for that but not so with radio. You get it free in your car, and elsewhere. World Radio Day ensures this coverage will continue with the best quality programming possible.

On the occasion of World Radio Day 2022, it is significant for radio stations worldwide to celebrate 11th edition of World Radio Day and more than a century of radio, whereas the word radio was first used in 1890 when Frenchman Edouard Branly does work on his radio-conductor, the wireless transmission term is eventually reduced to be called simply a ‘Radio.

Subsequently, in 1929,League of Nations ‘Radio Nations’ begins broadcasting with a transmitter in a Dutch station PCJJ. The League of Nations ‘Radio Nations’ moves to Switzerland in 1932. The program lasted for ten years, transmitting through Europe and picking up communication from the rest of the world.

This (2022) edition of WRD is divided into three main sub-themes namely

(1)Trust in radio Journalism, thus producing independent and hight- quality content. One of the biggest challenges being faced by journalism in the present hight-tempo digital age is respecting basic standards of ethical journalism. However, in order to keep or raise listeners’ trust, journalism must continue to be based on verifiable information that is shared in the public interest, holds the powerful to account and help the society build a better future for all.

(2) Trust and accessibility, that is taking care of your audience. Reaching out to a selected audience group implies serving the informational needs of all listeners and being a catalyst for integration and social participation, including persons with disabilities. Digital radio platforms provide grounds for innovation in the accessibility of content for the latter, such as the use of sign languages or automated sub titles for hearing impaired audience when streaming, or announcement of content for blind listeners.

(3)Trust and Viability of Radio Stations, thereby ensuring competitiveness.

How can radio survive when financial crisis hit the media market? How do a radio station transform loyal audience engagement into financial sustainability? This sub-theme links the economic survival of the radio stations to their ability to attract and retain a large base of loyal listeners.

Building on more than a century of history. radio remain one of the most trusted and widely used media. Throughout the years, radio has provided affordable access to information in the real time and professional coverage about matters of public interest, as well as guaranteed distance learning and entertainment. Bridging the gap between traditional and state of the art technologies, radio now offer a variety of content through different devices and formats such as podcasts and multimedia websites.

Recent global events and the COVID-19 pandemic have eroded trust in the media in general, fuelled by the circulation of false content rapidly spreading on social media. But while studies reveal a global decline in trust in the internet and social networks, they show a rise in overall trust in the news. And many citizens still have greater confidence in radio more than any other media.

However, coming back home, in Nigeria, there is a dire need for strict adherence to and compliance with basic ethical standards of journalism, particularly, in a situation that the country has been grappling with insurgency, banditry and kidnapping. According to Global Conflict Tracker, the insurgents have killed nearly 350,000 innocent women, children and farmers in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa while kidnapping and banditry keep inflicting similar injuries in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger amongst others.

In a situation like this, there is need for broadcasters to be ethical and not to be seen to be glamourising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers and bandits, rather, they should advise their guests and/or analyst on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric in driving home their point. In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.

On the occasion of World Radio Day 2022,we join UNESCO in calling on radio stations to celebrate the day through three sub-themes: Trust in radio journalism through production of independent and high quality content; Trust and accessibility through taking care of your audience and Trust and viability of radio stations towards ensuring competitiveness.

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PVC: Gov. Matawalle declares one-week public holiday

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The Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle has declared next week Monday to Friday, (June 20th to 24th, 2022) as work free week to enable the State’s public and civil servants to go to their respective localities and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards, (PVC).
The Governor directed all the commissioners, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, other public office holders, party officials and traditional rulers to monitor and supervise the ongoing Voter Registration exercise.

This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by the State’s commissioner for information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.
According to the statement, every person above the age of 18 is expected to be part of the exercise, saying that it was their constitutional right to elect their leaders.

Governor Matawalle appealed to the general public to participate in the exercise so that they would not complain later.

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Taraba retirees protest against non-payment of gratuity

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The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Taraba State Council has called on the state government to ensure prompt payment of all entitlements of its members as well as enrollment of all local government retirees in the state.
The state Chairman of the Union, Comrade Kefas Katan stated this at a World Press Conference held on Friday at the NUP Headquarters in Jalingo, the state capital.
He explained that the backlogs of gratuity for retired civil servants in the state are estimated at over N30billion.
The Chairman said the briefing was a replication of the one conducted on the 1st June 2022 in Abuja by the National President of the Union, Mazi Godwin.
Comrade Kefas Katan said retirees in Taraba State are facing numerous challenges due to the non-enrollment of many of its members into the scheme.
Reporting by Sani Suleiman; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare

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Buhari inaugurates council on e-Governance

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President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.

He stated this in Abuja while inaugurating the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government.

The President tasked members of the council to work towards strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.

He noted that the council would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government.

The President enjoined members of the Council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation in the country.

He said the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, in 2019, and expansion of the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy had brought significant progress and a number of unprecedented achievements.

President Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions had helped to formalize government online meetings.

He said Nigeria’s progress in e-governance had been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders, including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.

While congratulating the Minister, the President acknowledged that the Ministry had partnered with the Korea International Co-operation Agency to develop a National E-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.

He listed benefits from the partnership to include training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance, the launch of an e-Government Training Centre, handed over to the Federal Government in 2019, and the signing-off of Phase II of the E-government Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria, 2020-2026.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, had noted that the launch of NDEPS made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to co-ordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.

He said the recent auction of spectrums by the Ministry, generated over 400 percent revenue to the Federal Government coffers, while two virtual institutions established by government had trained some 500,000 Nigerians on digital and emerging technologies.

The 27-man committee, chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, on behalf of President Buhari, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Governors of Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Edo, Lagos, and Imo, as members.

Others are the Ministers of Finance, Industry, Trade and Investment, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited.

Others are Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, and the Director General, National Identity Management Commission.

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