AS part of strategy to terminate fresh recruitment and counter the spread of Boko Haram ideology, the Borno State government has invested over a billion naira in its electronic media services.
Radio 95.3 FM, an arm of the Borno Radio Television Company (BRTV) owned by the State Government has equally moved from covering 15 percent of the State to 100 percent coverage of all communities across the 27 local government areas.
The new template of the station has given it the capacity to cover parts of Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe States with all the bordering communities in the Niger Republic.
According to the spokesman of the Governor Isa Gusau “the station has added 19,700 watts of transmission capacity to existing 300 watts inherited in 2011 from previous Government of Ali Modu Sheriff.”
He said that Governor Kashim Shettima last year approved release of funds which led to the acquisition and installation of a 20 kilowatts transmitter with all components of digitalisation at the Borno Radio FM in Maiduguri.
“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.”
With all installations completed, the new equipments recently went through three days of test transmission of a special programme which received feedback from way outside the state.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mohammed Bulama whose Ministry coordinates and supervises the project, took part in all processes of the transmission and commended its progress.
The Commissioner during the test run noted that feedbacks were received from listeners across the State and others from Bosso in Niger and parts of Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe States.
“The Governor approved over a 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,” He noted.
On the AM, transmitter he said in place of the old 60 watts, 60,000 watts is currently being installed and work is in progress adding that government has acquired new Generators and renovated existing ones, “I don’t think any state-owned Radio station has what we have at BRTV FM not to talk of what we will soon install for the AM Radio,” said Bulama.
“The next phase will be a special focus on the TV section. The Governor intends to revolutionise 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,” Bulama said.
The Commissioner explained that the Borno State Executive Council has approved funds for completion of all necessary components to complete installation of 60,000 watts (60 kilowatts) transmitter for the AM 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’s 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.
The Borno State government is equally supporting federal government and privately-owned media houses in the state to ensure that the same cause of countering dangerous propaganda meted out by insurgents is reduced to the barest minimum or even terminated.