By Michael Olugbode
The Borno State owned broadcasting outfit, Borno Radio Television (BRTV), has been boosted to combat the spread of Boko Haram with outreach spanning the entire state, neighbouring Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe States and parts of Niger Republic.
The investment of the Borno state government in the broadcasting houses has led to improvement of the Borno Radio 95.3 FM from 15 per cent courage of the state to the entire state and neighbouring towns.
A statement by the spokesman to Borno Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, Mallam Isa Gusau said: “The FM station has added 19,700 watts of transmission capacity to existing 3,000 watts inherited in 2011 from previous Government of Ali Sheriff.
“Governor Kashim Shettima last year approved release of funds which led to the acquisition and installation of new 20,000 watts (20 kilowatts) transmitter with all components at the Borno Radio FM in Maiduguri.”
The statement claimed that: “Borno is the first State Government to acquire such capacity,” noting that: “Governor Shettima had also approved funds for the establishment, equipping and modernisation of four studios of international standards to make the FM station meet the standards of international institutions, particularly with plans to unveil programmes that will counter religious ideologies that preach or promote any form of violence and hate among residents.”
Gusau revealed that: “With all installations completed, the FM station recently spent three days testing the new equipment through transmission of a special programme. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mohammed Bulama whose Ministry coordinates and supervises the project, took part in all processes of the transmission. The Commissioner said feedbacks were received from listeners across the State and others from Bosso in Niger and parts of Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe States.”
Gusau, in the statement quoted the Commissioner for Information, Dr. Mohammed Bulama to have said: “The Governor approved over one billion naira which has been invested in BRTV with particular focus on the FM and AM Radio stations. Remodeling and equipment installations at the FM has been fully completed with the 20 kilowatts or 20,000 watts transmitter and all components installed and functional. On the AM, the 60 watts (which is 60,000 watts) is currently being installed. It is a work in progress. We have acquired new Generators and renovated existing ones. The complex housing the FM station has been completely renovated and will soon be furnished.
“On equipment, I don’t think any state owned Radio station has what we have at BRTV FM not to talk of what we will soon instal for the A.M Radio. The next phase will be a special focus on the TV section. We are also investing heavily in ICT for live streaming. The Governor intends to revolutionise the Borno State media industry so as to prepare the Government for serious counter narrative as part of strategic response in addressing the security facing the State. The plan is to secure the future of Borno State.”
The Commissioner explained that the Borno State Executive Council had approved funds for all necessary components to complete installation of 60,000 watts (60 kilowatts) transmitter for the A.M Radio which will make the AM station get the capacity to cover substantial parts of Northern Nigeria if not all of it and more.
Governor Shettima had explained that his administration intends to massively use the media, especially Radio which has the widest accessibility to counter violent religious teachings and ideologies through various programmes that would include correct interpretation of religious teachings by acceptable religious scholars.