It is no longer news for residents of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) community and former residents that the overlong dream of having a community radio has finally come to reality.
The news which went viral last night has it that the license for the community radio has been approved and operations will commence first quarter of next year, 2019. However, the feeling will still be there and the joy on the faces of the management, students and lecturers of the institution.
The dream of having a community radio especially as a foremost institute of journalism has long been dreamt, ever since the administration of former Provost of the Institute, Dr (Mrs) Elizabeth Nkem, which was believed to have its processing began under her or even before, who knows.
As a student of the Institute then, I am curious to know why a prestigious institution like ours have failed to have a radio station, even if its community radio in which it’s bandwidth won’t pass its environs, it will still make us be seen as a serious institution practising what it preaches to the public.
There were grumbling among my colleagues then, even those not my colleagues, probably from other classes on the delay why the institution had not gotten a community radio, and they even make reference to UNILAG Radio, LASU Radio, these are not the school of journalism like ours.
However, this present administration under Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye, a media enthusiast and lawyer, made it be a dream come true to secure the licence of having a community radio in our institution.
The belief was there that the new administrator would do his best to ensure the licence is approved and this was even confirmed by him during an interview by me and two of my colleagues when he said his administration is committed to NIJ radio.
He also stated reasons delaying the approval of the licence, among which he said that the licensing had reached the final stage before the replacement of the present National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Director-general, so they needed to start all over again the processing but he promised to make sure the licence is given and here we are today, the licence has been given.
The question now remains what next after the licence has been secured? Though I am not too sure to be in a good position to ascertain what will be the next line of action for the commencement of the radio station, as it is even believed that it will start the first quarter of next year.
Even though, the final year students may not have the opportunity to be part of the pioneers of the radio station, talk less of me as a graduate.
And what will be next may not even be about the radio station, but about the development of the institution, and yes, my mind goes directly to the board of the institution, these board members have overstayed their welcome in the institution, I remember vividly that I got admitted into the institution in the year 2013, and till now that I graduated, the board members still presides over the school.
However, these people are not in terms and have lost touch with the contemporary needs of a media-training institution like NIJ. Yet, this keeps reflecting on my mind that this is also part of the long delay of approving the radio licence.
Of course, it should not be, every institution has it’s own board members and this board have a specific time for its members to have it changed or renew their membership but these one has turned themselves to “permanent members’ which shouldn’t be.
Is the law of the Institution not functioning again to ascertain these excesses? But why turning themselves to demigods, even if it’s believed that they are working well to the development of the institution, they still need to be changed.
They are old men and women who don’t understand the basic needs of present-day media processing and this is injurious to the development of the institution.
They need to be changed as soon as possible….if more development is needed for the institution.
An opinion piece by Yanjú Uwala. He is a Lagos based journalist and also an alumnus of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos Nigeria.
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