Nigeria Community Radio

About us | Blog us | FAQs

Home About us Gallery Contact us FAQs

Home >> FAQs

Stake Holders
Media Policy Briefing: Vol 3

The Secretariat/Coordinator
Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC)
c/o Institute for Media and Society
3, Emina Crescent,
Off Toyin Street,
P.O.Box 16181
Ikeja, Lagos,Nigeria.
Phone: +234 1- 8102261;
+234 803 307 9828;




Q: What is Community Radio?

A: Community radio is radio which is for, by and about the community, whose ownership and management is representative of the community, which pursues a social development agenda, and which is non-profit. This is the internationally accepted definition provided by the African Charter on Broadcasting.

Q: ‘For, By and About” What do these mean?

A: For: Community radio exists to serve the needs of its community. It is its community that forms its audience.
By: The community, members participate in the planning, designing and implementing the activities of the station. Management is done, programmes are produced and broadcast by community members.
About: In its programming and other activities, community radio focuses on the events, people, issues, trends etc affecting its community. It carries community-oriented programming.

Q: Please explain: “Pursues a social development agenda”

A: The central mandate of community radio is to promote development at the grassroots. Development that involves the people themselves and seek to bring about positive change in their living conditions and environment. For example: poverty eradication/wealth creation, education, health, better access to clean water, greater participation and representation in the democratic system, etc.

Q: You mentioned “non-profit” in the definition of community radio. How will it be sustained if it does not make profit?

A: As an enterprise which generates income, community radio makes savings. The savings are not profits and not shared among community members. Rather, they are ploughed back into its operations to grow and sustain the station.

Q: I have heard that community radio is “independent”. Could you explain this?

A: A community radio station is independent of governments, donors, advertisers or other institutions. This does not mean that it does not have official relations with these institutions or that it cannot receive funding from them, but the nature of their relations must be governed by clear and transparent agreements that guarantee the non-partism community-service nature of the radio station, while operating within the boundaries defined by the law and by the constitution/guiding principles of the station.

Q: Are there other features that distinguish community radio?

A: Yes. These features include participation and community base. The community must be able to participate in the management and direction of the station through, for example, representation of the diverse interests in the community in the station’s board of governors, and participation in programme production and presentation.
The station must also be based in its community and accountable to it.

Q: What kinds of community can community radio serve?

A: Community radio exists basically to serve an underserved or marginalized community. A specific, identifiable community sharing common characters and/or interests. It could be a geographical community whose size can range from a rural area, to a small town, or a small section of a city. It could also be a community of interest such as women, youths, or linguistic and cultural minorities.

Q: What forms of community organizations can own community radio?

A: The legal form of ownership of a community radio station is usually through a local not-for-profit organization, such as an NGO, CBO, educational institution, cultural association, cooperative society or a partnership of such associations.

Q: In your definition of community radio, you spoke of the African Charter on Broadcasting. What is it about?

A: The African Charter on Broadcasting is a modern blueprint for policies and laws designed to determine the way broadcasting and information technology are organized or structured in African countries.
The charter provides for a framework for broadcasting in every country which recognizes, among other things, a three-tier structure for broadcasting: public service, commercial and community.
The charter was produced by media development stakeholders at a conference organized by UNESCO in Windhoek, Namibia, in year 2001.
The charter was adopted by African heads of state at the African Union (AU) summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in year 2003.

Q: Can a religious organization or community own a radio station?

A: Yes and No. Yes, because religious bodies/communities own and operate radio stations in many countries. No, because Nigerian law forbids the granting of broadcast licences to religious bodies.

Q: Are there other groups which cannot get broadcast licences under the law?

A: Yes, Political parties.

Q: But can licenced community radio stations broadcast religious and political programmes?

A: Yes, but subject to certain conditions. According to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) code (the book containing rules and regulations of broadcasting) :

“ All political programmes shall observe the provision of extant acts, decrees and electoral laws”

“ Appropriate opportunity for religious presentation shall be made available to the various religious in the community”.

Q: Which agency is responsible for licensing of community radio?

A: It is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Q: Where is it based?

A: Its headquarters is located in Abuja, the Federal Capital. It also has field offices in many states of the country.

Q: What is the procedure for getting a community radio licence?

A: First, community members put in place a non-commercial, non-governmental corporate body, that is, non-governmental organization (NGO), Community-based organization (CBO), Community Development Association (CDA), Cooperative Society, etc and incorporate it with the Cooperate Affairs Commission.
Second, the organization purchases/collects an application form from the Finance Directorate of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Third, the organization completes the form and returns it to the commission with a detailed feasibility study on the proposed station.
Fourth, the NBC processes the application through the Honorable Minister of Information and National Orientation to the President and Commander-in-chief, who gives final approval.
Fifth, the successful applicant pays for the licence.
Sixth, licence is issued and frequency allocated to the applicant.

Q: What is the fee/cost of a community radio licence?

A: The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is in the process of fixing the fees for community radio application form and licence. Community radio advocates have insisted that these fees should be waived or, at worst, very nominal.

Q: How long does it take to get the licence after submitting application to the NBC?

A: That depends on The President, because he gives the final approval.

Q: What is the life-span of a radio broadcasting licence? Or is it issued once-and-for-all-time?

A: A radio broadcasting licence carries a life span of five (5) years, at the end of which it becomes due for renewal.

News and Events


© 2012, Nigeria Community Radio Coalition ®. All Rights Reserved.

Connect with us on

Connect with us on Facebook   Connect with us on Twitter

About us | Blog us | FAQs