KUTIGI, September 29, 2015 – After years of hard work by community broadcasting advocates, Lavun Community Radio station in Niger State recently became the first of its kind to grace the airwaves.
Supported by the World Bank’s Fadama II and III projects, the country’s only active community radio station was commissioned earlier this month with great fanfare, and is now live on 95.5 FM.
“The World Bank included community radio in Fadama, a community-driven project, to enable farmers exchange ideas as well as have voice on development issues that affect them,” said Adetunji Oredipe, World Bank task team leader for the Fadama projects.
Through Fadama, farmers received information on best practices for a new radio station from technical experts, new broadcast equipment and took study tours of community radio stations in West African countries such as Ghana to design a station that would allow them to have a voice in community mobilization and decision making.
Nathaniel Twaki, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lavun Community Radio, said the station will help to create awareness of the agricultural value chain, health programs, educational awareness, cultural revival and promoting peace and unity among the communities in the local government area (LGA) and the state in general.
Farmers are already feeling the impact having a new radio station.
“We are benefiting from the radio station in the area of shea butter processing and value addition,” said Amina Jibrin, a member of the Jipan Women Farmer’s Community Association. “We rely on the station for information on how to market our shea butter products that we produce in this village.”
Hassan Sidi of Ruga Village, agreed.
“Our radio station will not just help us with information on farming activities but will also help revive our cultural heritage,” he said. “I am very grateful to the World Bank and the Niger State government for helping us realize our dreams of a having community radio station.”
During the commissioning ceremony, Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello promised his continued support for the station.
“I assure you that that the Government of Niger State would assist the community radio station with take-off grant, good access road, vehicle and fencing of the premises,” he said.
Two additional World Bank-assisted community radio stations have been proposed through Fadama; one in Pandagi in Abuja, and the other in Eriti in Ogun state.