The Federal Government has urged the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) to use its influence and power to promote national unity and development. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, made the call on behalf of the government while delivering the keynote address at the 75th General Assembly of the BON in Kano state, Nigeria.
Represented by Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mohammed noted that BON is an essential body that brings together private and public broadcasting stations, including terrestrial radio and television Direct-To-Home, Digital Terrestrial Television, and the Multimedia Distribution System.
The importance of BON is emphasised by the fact that broadcasting is a powerful tool, according to Mohammed, who said that broadcasting has a significant role to play in fostering national unity and development because of its broad reach and immediacy.
“When misused, it can also be a source of dissension, division, and disharmony, all of which are harmful to development,” Mohammed added.
“Mohammed took the opportunity to express his heartfelt gratitude to all BON members for the vital role they played, and continue to play, in raising awareness and providing life-saving information regarding COVID-19, which has killed over five million people worldwide and infected over 200 million. With no treatment yet available, the best way to combat the pandemic is to have the correct information, particularly on non-pharmaceutical interventions.”
“Broadcast organisations, both private and public, are essential for communicating information to the public, and they have done an excellent job doing so, in most cases for free, since the virus arrived in Nigeria.” Thank you for putting the power of broadcasting to good use.”
Anyone who doubted the broadcast media’s dual-edged power to create national unity or foment discord should read about the role of a broadcast station, RTLM, in the 100 days of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which killed at least 800,000 people.
“We will continue to partner with BON, which we regard as a reliable ally, to keep the public sufficiently informed of government activities, and also the successful implementation of critical initiatives like the Digital Switch Over,” Mohammed added.