Abuja -A conference has urged the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to make public the guidelines for the licensing of community radio stations in Nigeria.
The call is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day national conference on Building Community Radio for Democracy and Development.
The conference was organised by the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) project of UNDP in collaboration with the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC).
It urged the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition to increase its sensitisation and mobilisation activities in communities ahead of the issuance of community radio licenses to prepare them for the operation of community radio stations.
The conference also urged community leaders and members to ensure that politicians and political parties seeking their votes during elections were challenged to make commitments toward supporting the emergence and sustenance of community radio stations.
It advised communities preparing to establish community radios to begin to assess their personnel and other capacity needs in order to make plans for addressing the needs.
It stated that in addressing their personnel and other programming needs, emerging community radio stations should take advantage of existing structures and institutions, such as the National Orientation Agency, which could add value to their work.
It urged international development agencies and partners to assist in fast-tracking the process of licensing community radio stations in their engagements through assistance to various government institutions, including NBC.
The conference said that stakeholders should provide capacity-building support to communities and community radio operators in the areas of management, programme development, acquisition of equipment and appropriate technologies, among other ways.
The conference observed that community radio was now recognised all over the world as a development medium but regretted that Nigeria was lagging behind many other countries, including countries in Africa, in using it.