THE basic attributes of governance in Nigeria include lack of initiative and inability to implement programmes or maintain existing facilities. Governance lacks innovativeness and commitment to meet set objectives in the public interest.
These and other factors account for the reason that over 26 years since Ray Power FM made its debut on September 1, 1994, the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, is just now launching its first radio station known as the Nigeria Police 99.1FM. It is situated at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, complex, Jabi, Abuja.
This is a project that should have been in use for decades. Since Ray Power hit the air waves as the first 24-hour private radio station in Nigeria, we now have hundreds of FM radio stations with most states of the federation having several of them.
The Nigeria Police Radio 99.1FM falls into the category of specialised radio services focusing on a specific sector. In Lagos, Traffic Radio FM owned by the Lagos State Government focuses on transportation, including vehicle maintenance.
There are also radio stations specialising on sports, talk, music and Nigerian classical music. Many of them are very successful because they offer opportunities for specialists in the various sectors to contribute to public information, education and entertainment.
We commend the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for his efforts to bring the station on stream because it will play a leading role in offering the public the much needed opportunity to reach out to the Police in the efforts to make our country safer.
With the coming of this station, the police and the populace will no longer need to depend on the police telephone hotlines alone.
They can now call directly into the live studio to share information that will improve policing not only in Abuja and environs but also all parts of the country.
This will be made possible if the radio station is also equipped with a strong and reliable digital mobile application which will enable its reception in all parts of the world in real time. We also advise that the programming should emphasise more of talk than music.
Young, articulate Nigerians in the Force should be specially trained to produce and air programmes that will endear the station to the populace round the clock.
That way, the station will add value and contribute to the much-touted “community policing” programme of the Force. With careful handling, the Nigeria Police 99.1FM will help bridge the gap between the Force and the people and further help emasculate crime and insecurity.
We encourage the Force to also set up state stations to take this laudable initiative closer to the people since the issue of broadcasting to wider audiences through digital applications is not yet popular at the grassroots.