NIGERIA COMMUNITY RADIO COALITION
It is, indeed a significant and strategic stride at deepening our democracy by expanding the space for citizens’ participation in governance. The DG National Orientation Agency made this remark at the community radio briefing and strategy meeting, organized by the democratic governance for development project ii, in collaboration with the Nigeria community radio coalition, at the rock view hotel, Abuja.
In his goodwill message, Mr Mike Omeri said that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is committed to this initiative because its founding principles and philosophy are in tandem with the mandate for which NOA was established. The Agency’s key mandate areas are; Communicating government policies, programmes and activities to the people through advocacy and public enlightenment, Mobilizing public support for government policies, programmes and activities, Providing feedback to government on people’s reactions to government policies, programmes and activities etc.
To discharge its mandate, the Agency has a 3-tier structure which aligns with the Federal structure: National Headquarters, State Directorates (36 states and the FCT)- headed by Directors, Local Government offices (774 LGAs)- headed by Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs), Community Support Brigade and Citizens’ Responsibility Volunteers ( In each Ward of the Federation). To effectively reach the local communities, the Agency ensures that the caliber of staff employed to reach the local communities are able to serve as the arrow-heads of the Agency’s grassroots activities and as such should be an integral part of the Local Communities that reside within the localities.
Platforms that the Agency has available for grass root sensitization are; Theatre for Development (TFD) Community/Village Square Dialogue Sessions, Town Hall Meetings, Public Awareness Boards, Fortnightly Pulse of the Nation Reports and Special Reports. The Rationale for Community Radio is that it Breaks media monopoly and democratizes citizens’ access to information. It also gives a voice to the voiceless (i.e. content, perspectives and development agenda are determined by citizens), restores citizens’ integrity, promotes transparency and accountability in governance, it is cost effective and will create job opportunities for at least 5 people in each LGA.
In conclusion, he emphasized that NOA believes in the potency of Community Radio in democratizing the media space and ensuring good governance, We are therefore committed to this cause and would work tirelessly for it success.