Director General, Mall. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, on Wednesday, 24th May 2023, attended the commissioning ceremony of Democracy Radio 104.9FM, Abuja.

In a goodwill message, Mall. Ilelah stated that the establishment of Democracy Radio, 104.9FM connotes the maturity of our country’s democracy, particularly looking at how the National Assembly which is one of the strongest pillars and custodians of democracy paid premium to furthering freedom of expression by venturing into information gathering and dissemination.

He added that the NBC looks forward to the station bridging the information gap on the true development the country has attained while assisting in countering the negative narratives about our dear nation.

The DG further called on the Management of the new radio station to be professional in its operations and enlighten Nigerians to make informed choices and decisions on democratic conduct which is geared at promoting national unity, participatory democracy, political awareness, as well as, inculcating spirit of tolerance of divergent views and opinions.

He also pointed out that the National Broadcasting Commission hopes that Democracy Radio will thrive if it provides truthful, balanced, comprehensive, accurate and intelligent accounts of happenings in our ecosystem without fear or favour in accordance with the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

The NBC Boss, in conclusion, heartily congratulated on behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission, the National Assembly and the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies for establishing the first thematic radio station in Nigeria on democracy and legislative matters, while calling on the Management of Democracy Radio 104.9FM, to ensure that its content emphasises progressive democratic oriented programs.

Mall. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah was accompanied by Director, Broadcast Policy and Research, Mr. Matthews Achara, Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Mrs. Franca Aiyetan and Director, Public Affairs, Mrs. Susan Obi.

The event which took place at the premises of the station in Abuja, had in attendance the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, Former Chairman INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, amongst other dignitaries.

In a related development, The NBC Director General, also on same Wednesday 24th May 2023, played host to the China Media Group, led by Mr. Shuhan, C.M.G Asia & Africa languages programming centre.

The DG while receiving the delegation at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, could not hide his excitement during the visit, as he recounted his professional and academic experiences while in China working with the Hausa Service of the China Media Group.

He further noted his satisfaction with the CMG group as he recounted his contributions, as well as, the impact he was able to make while working in China.

Mall. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah went ahead to inform the team from the China Media Group (CMG), of the core responsibilities of the Commission, which include licensing, and regulating broadcast content from conventional media and social media, amongst others.

The Director General also outlined some achievements made by the Commission so far, in ensuring that the Nigerian society is not plunged into anarchy by certain derogatory content that is inimical to the growth and development of Nigeria.

In order to ensure professionalism in the broadcast industry in Nigeria, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah informed the Group that the Commission was in the process of establishing a Broadcast Institute that will continue to train and retrain broadcasters on the rudiments and ethics of broadcasting.

In his remarks, the leader of the China Media Group expressed his appreciation to the DG and his Management team for the warm reception accorded him and his team.  He noted, that the essence of the visit was to familiarise himself with the DG and the Commission as they were impressed with the achievements he has made in the broadcast industry in Nigeria since his appointment.

Furthermore, he informed the Commission that the China Media Group (Hausa Unit) is 60 years while expressing his excitement that the CMG was making progress in the Chinese broadcast industry and beyond.

Mr. Shuhan, C.M.G Asia, also noted that it was a great privilege for them to have worked with the DG in the past while he was in China and therefore, looked forward to more collaborations that would afford them the opportunity to give their best, especially in Nigeria.

The CMG group expressed its readiness to work with the Commission on capacity building especially in the areas of broadcast monitoring and regulations, while emphasizing on social media regulation which opens a platform for the proliferation for fake news and misinformation that could plunge the country into anarchy and proffer ways to protect the country from unwholesome content.

In conclusion, Mall. Ilelah appealed to the group to open more channels to incorporate more Nigerian languages in their broadcast, and send more of their students to Nigeria through exchange programmes so that they can learn more about Nigerian languages, as well as, the culture of these languages. This he said, will help to foster a long-lasting relationship and collaboration between the two countries.