Of NYSC And Radio In Our Society

Yesterday being the Sunday preceding the year 2022 Saint Valentine’s Day was so special to me and my first fruit- Prince Nnadozie NaetoChukwu Onwubiko.

That was a day we had father and Son outing which saw us playing football together and talking about the victory of my beloved football team known as Chelsea football club of London, United Kingdom that won the FIFA YEAR 2022 WORLD’S CLUB CUP IN DUBAI. Incidentally,  the day was marked as the World’s Radio Day.

From a technical information gleaned from a scholarly work, every year, World Radio Day is celebrated on February 13 with an aim to underline the importance of radio. In this era of a technologically advanced world with easy access to the internet and other mediums of communication, the peculiar role of radio simply cannot be ignored. There are a lot of people still who not only trust radio but also rely on it for the consumption of news and for entertainment purposes. To date, radio has managed to be a prominent platform to reach the masses, at least here in India.

What then is the history behind this day of the radio?

Experts say the member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first proclaimed this day back in 2011. However, it was later adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day. Since then, February 13 has been observed as World Radio Day.

The theme for World Radio Day 2022 is “Radio and Trust”. On the occasion of World Radio Day 2022, UNESCO invites radio stations around the world to commemorate the 11th edition of the event, as well as more than a century of radio. The three main sub-themes of World Radio Day 2022 are:

1) Trust in radio journalism: Journalism should be about giving out the right, well-researched, and verified information. The people involved in the radio journalism industry must be able to produce high-quality content.

2) Trust and accessibility: This sub-theme intends to bring into notice the need for accessibility of the information or news to different sections of society. Each and every individual (including people with disabilities) must be able to have access to the radio.

3) Trust and viability of radio stations: The radio stations must ensure competitiveness and must be able to engage a wide audience.

The Significance of World Day of Radio according to these scholars is summed up thus:

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Even after decades, radio has remained to be one of the oldest, most popular, and most widely consumed news mediums. It also plays an important role in delivering information during the time of natural disasters. The main motive behind starting this day was to allow people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences to raise their concerns and voice their opinions.

 

Advances in technology have given people more ways to access an increasing amount of information. However, radio still plays a vital role in today’s world. Radio is more than just announcers, news and songs. Radio is about companionship and the emotional connection with the listener.

Radio broadcasts provide real-time information, and some that broadcast 24 hours a day, can provide the most recent updates to listeners. Radio has the ability to reach across borders and can become a valuable source of information where reliable news is scarce.

Radio has proved its worth in times of emergency such as when access to the mobile network is down as a result of an overload, or phone lines are cut. Even when there is no electricity, most radio sets can be battery operated or have the ability to be hand- cranked.

Radio is not just important for reception of emergency announcements and communications during disasters. In small communities like Gibraltar, it provides an outlet for regular community messaging and activities such as local sports, community events, special events, local business advertising, etc.

More importantly, radio is easy to use, it’s live and it’s human. For more than 80 years, radio has survived and prospered by being the easiest of media to use. Wake up in the morning, have a shower, get in the car, turn on the radio.(apologies to ndtv.com).

Whilst yours faithfully was ruminating on the import of the day set aside to celebrate the achievements  of radio broadcasting in the globe, a friend working at the National Youth Service Corps scheme (NYSC) sent me a media statement for publication in our online newspaper- www.thenigeriainsidernews.com.  The statement was from the media department of the NYSC and read thus: NYSC GETS APPROVAL FOR DIRECT SATELLITE BROADCASTING, INTERNET PROTOCOL TV LICENSE.

The media statement disclosed  that the National Broadcasting Commission has granted NYSC operational licence to commence Direct Satellite Broadcasting (BSB); as well as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

NBC Director-General, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilela while presenting the document to the NYSC Director-General, Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim in Abuja, today said the license for the digital satellite broadcast would give more voice to the Scheme “to tell the NYSC story and its tremendous achievements to the whole world”.

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He said the NYSC as one of the successful achievements of the Gowon Administration has achieved its purpose of uniting the country in several ways, and has contributed immensely to national development.

The NBC DG added that the commission was saddled with the responsibility of regulating the media industry in the country and  issuance of operational license as approved by Government.

“The Commission normally gives license in trust and we believe this will be used for the purpose it is given.

We are very proud to be part of your progress.

With somebody like you, we are sure our license is in safe hands”, llela said.

The NBC Director-General also used the forum to congratulate the NYSC Director-General on his recent promotion to the rank of Major General.

In his remarks, the NYSC Director-General, Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim said that since his assumption of duty, he has been passionate about the Scheme having its own radio and television stations, stating that it is quite fulfilling that the dream has come to fruition.

He assured that the Scheme would utilise the opportunity of the broadcast station to promote its  programmes, including government policies and programmes.

The granting of the Broadcasting licence to the NYSC couldn’t have come at the right time than now. There are evidence-based factuality that Nigerians are now very much divided on so many fronts and the need to promote National integration and unity is strategic. The coming of the radio station for the NYSC is a very well thought out policy of the President Muhamadu Buhari led administration which will for years to come be talked about positively if the managers of the NYSC scheme will put to good use this opportunity of a life time to unify Nigerians and to promote harmony and inter ethnic unity. The good news that followed the granting of the broadcast license for NYSC was then Consolidated by the emerging story that one NYSC Member Converted a Dilapidated Building to a Clinic in a Remote Village of Adamawa State.

The news is that a member of the National Youth Service Corps, Ihenyen Ehinome Joy (AD/20B/1932), serving in Adamawa State, converted an abandoned building to a Clinic in Kpogno Community, a remote village in Girei LGA of Adamawa State.

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The idea of the Clinic came up when the corps member was participating as an enumeration officer in the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) which entailed corps members touring remote villages of the state to enumerate and register Primary School pupils for the school feeding Programme.

While registering the pupils in this village (Kpogno), Joy observed that several people, particularly the children and the elderly, were not looking healthy enough. After some enquiries, she realized that the rural dwellers had to travel 14 kilometers away to access the nearest Clinic at another village called Borong.

She became disturbed and took it upon herself to change the ugly situation.

Using her orientation on NYSC’s Community Development Service (CDS) Programme, she strategized,   secured the necessary support and approval of the NYSC scheme, mobilized the relevant stakeholders, particularly the Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and most importantly collaborated with the people of the community.

Seeing and trusted her as a messiah, the Community happily and willingly donated a four bedroom dilapidated building for the project in addition to other contributions towards its success.

And finally it is mission accomplished for Copa Joy!!! As the people of Kpogno Community no longer have to travel 14 kilometers to access simple medical care. Copa Joy, an indigene from far away Edo State, Ekpoma LGA, has come to their rescue through the human scheme, NYSC.

To ensure continued sustenance, management and viability of the health care centre, corps member Joy partnered with the State Primary Healthcare through the Girei LGA PHC which is to continue providing drugs, services as well as other medical consumables and non consumables.

This kind of positive strides and news are the exact kind of materials that the media through both Direct and online Broadcasting ought to celebrate to showcase the resilience and the imaginative spirit of youngsters of Nigerian extraction so the rest of the World that only just celebrated the World Day of Radio will be kept abreast of this positivity of the contemporary Nigerian youths. Yes, we can!

EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was National Commissioner of the NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA. 

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