By Obinna Unaeze
Borgu (Niger), Oct. 2, 2020 Residents of Niger on Friday urged the state government to boost the outreach of the state radio station, 91.3 FM to keep them abreast of its policies and programmes.
Naija247news gathered from residents of Borgu and Rijau Local Government Areas of the state that the signal of the radio station stopped in the area 10 years ago.
They said that there was need to boost the outreach of the radio station to enhance information dissemination at the grassroots.
The listeners lamented over the inability to get abreast with government policies and programmes in the past 10 years.
Malam Musa Kidebe, a resident of New Bussa in Borgu, who had been listening to the radio for more than 15 years said that signal to the area had stopped in the past 10 years.
Kidebe said that only Minna and its environs get the services of the radio station, describing the situation as unfortunate.
“In the past 10 years we have been cut off from the state FM radio in Minna. We have been completely sidelined here, to the extent that sometimes it takes one week for us to know what government is doing.
“Recently some of us did not benefit in youth empowerment programme due to inadequate information,’’ he said.
He appealed to the state government to increase the outreach of the radio in order to carry the people along.
Similarly, Miss Balkisu Mukhtar, another resident of the area told NAN that there was need for the state government to make its moribund booster stations across the state functional in order to reach the rural people.
Mukhtar said that the measure would bring about good service delivery to the people, especially on government policies, programmes and other information.
Also, Hajiya Aishatu Usman, a farmer in Rijau said that it was more than 10 years now since she listened to the radio.
“My husband who is also a farmer used to listen to the radio years back and inform me about what government was doing to help farmers but we cannot get the signal anymore,’’ she said.
Earlier, Dr Mohammed Aliyu, a public affairs analyst in Minna had said that the output of the radio station was limited to Minna the state capital and environs instead of serving the 25 Local Government Areas in the state.
Aliyu said that local government areas in the state such as Magama, Kontagora, Rijau, Mariga and Agwara are not adequately informed, enlightened and entertained owing to no signal from the station.
Responding on the issue, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the state Commissioner of Information told NAN that the current state government led by Alhaji Abubakar Bello had increased the frequency of the radio from 91.2 FM to 91.3 FM.
Idris said that the measure was to enable the people get signal of the radio station, adding that its coverage has increased.
“Right now residents of Suleja can hear our FM radio. The next phase now is to resuscitate our booster stations at Borgu, Mokwa, Bida and Kontagora to reach our people,’’ he said.
He also said that government had concluded arrangements to revive the state AM radio in Minna that had not been on air for the past 21 years.
The Commissioner said that when the radio comes up it would cover the 25 local government areas of the state, 16 other states and neighbouring countries.