Roles of FRCN in attitude change and national development

Abstract

The main objective of this study is to find out the roles of FRCN in attitude change and national development. Past studies relevant to the study were reviewed and a theory that formed the basic framework of the study was also examined. The research showed that FRCN is a potent instrument in ensuring attitude change and development in the country. FRCN serves as an informer, mobilizer, reformer, policy advocator, integrator, socio-cultural facilitator and educator. FRCN achieves the nation’s development objectives through its network programmes. The study also highlighted the problems confronting FRCN in the country. Finally, some recommendations were offered by the researcher with a view to resolving the challenges militating against the effective operation of FRCN, in order to improve its performance.

 KEY TERMS: FRCN, attitude change, imperative, national development.

INTRODUCTION

Radio is the most powerful channel in the task for attitude change and national development. It serves as a direct instrument of education, agent of social changes leading to changes in attitudes, beliefs, and practices that lead to national development.

       In Nigeria, Federal Radio Corporation OF Nigeria (FRCN) for more than a decade now has helped to accelerate social transformation needed for the social-economic development and mobilizes human resources for the nation’s development efforts. FRCN achieves these development goals through its innovative, qualitative and development driven network programmes such as polices diary, consumer speaks, eagles on Radio, election mandate, election matters, health watch, Nigerian pride, Radio link , public complaint half hour, the people’s representative, the senate, Tax on radio, news bulletin and incisive commentaries.

       Ministry of national planning (1980) unpublished report cited in (Akonobi 1990:64), stated “it is clear that national development does not start with goods, services and things. It starts with people-their orientation, organization and discipline”. According to its report “when a society is properly oriented, organized and discipline, it can be prosperous on the scantiest basis of natural wealth’. That is why attitude change is an essential component of national development.

Onabajo (2002) supported the above assertion when he said “national development do not only mean the physical development which is manifested into good roads, power supply, structures, industrialization etc. any development which does not include attitude change that will respect the dignity of labour and the propensity towards social change and self-reliant economy is at best incomplete”.

       National development results to beneficial change for the individual and the nation. It is a multi-facetted change process which brings about “increased skill, capacity and ability of a nation to utilize the resources in its environment for the upliftment of the quality of life of its people” (Rodny, 1974. Cited in Nwabueze, 2007, p.191). FRCN helps to moved the minds of people and influence there decisions in private and public life. As a channel that disseminates information about modern ideas, FRCN helps in re-organizing conflicting norms, change value systems and refine traditional beliefs and practices.

       Moemeka (1995:335) lent a voice to the above nation when he stated that “radio can become effective in inducing, people to strive to change there attitude to life by accommodating new and enlacing ideas moved improve the quality of there lives” Akpan (1991:76) added that “radio makes possible the general diffusion of knowledge about life in today’s world and influences many of our social, political and economic patterns. It can be deduced from the above ascertains that information dissemination is a very crucial element in national development programmes.

       However, national development can not meaningfully take place in isolation of communication. Polices and plans aimed at achieving development goals have to be communicated to the public, especially those who would be mobilized to support development efforts, policies and plans of the government. Attention of change agents and stakeholders has to be attracted to development needs of the people. Successfully implemented or executed projects have to be made known to the public as a way of keeping them aware of the development trends in the country and keeping them informed about actions and inactions that impede development efforts in the country with a view to righting the wrongs and creating enabling environment for good effort to continue. Here lies the crucial role of the FRCN in providing the livewire which makes national development possible.

       Communication is central to sustainable and enduring national development with specific regards to national development and attitude change, FRCN has participated actively through the dissemination of information FRCN helps in the dissemination of development message to the target audience often with a view to persuading them to adopt a positive attitude towards national development objective or agenda.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY    

The main objectives of this work are to;

  1. Identify the role of FRCN in national development.
  2. Ascertain the effectiveness of FRCN programmes in attitude change and national development.
  3. Determine the place of FRCN in attitude change.
  4. Determine the need for attitude change in the nation.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

FRCN: This is a public service broadcasting outfit which fast-track national development and attitude change.

Attitude Change: This is a placement and systematic process geared towards persuading people to adopt better behaviour, responsible attitude and accept new ideas in order to fast-tract national development.

Imperative: A veritable tool or indispensible element for achieving national development.

National development: This refers to conscious, planned and change process geared towards the transformation and improvement of every aspect of the nation’s life.

Review of Literature

     National development is a multi-dimensional process of change geared towards improving and transforming structures, institutions and material well being for the majority of people.

Ekwele (1969: 208) states that “radio is a known channel of news, information, education, entercuinment, leadership, comfering status and creating symbolism among other things”. The provision of adequate information makes FRCN a very crucial element in development programmes of Nigeria.

Lerner (1963) was of the view that any effort to motivate people who are illiterate, isolated and poverty stricter to participate in modernizing activity and society, must necessarily involve providing them with clues as to what the better things of life might be. Before any enduring transformation of the country will take place, the people must be well informed, enlightened and mobilized. FRCN offers can excellent way of accomplishing national development. (FRCN helps to bring about the economic, social and political emancipation of the country.

Okoro (1995:25) posits that Radio is recognized as agent capable of instituting a level of consistency and uprightness needed to transform society’s social and political orientation as a channel that disseminate information about modern ideas, FRCN help in re-organizing conflicting norms in the country, change value systems and refine traditional beliefs and practices. AGBA (1998) argued that “individuals and society that have access to mass media (radio, television, newspapers, magazine and others) have a modern attitude, are more progressive and adapt to modern rules faster than those who do to.” Access to FRCN messages would make Nigerians more receptive to and adopt new ideas like family planning, modern farming methods and health practices among others. FRCN makes possible the general diffusion of knowledge about life in our country today and influence many of our social, political and economic patterns.

     Egbon (1998) said that “the news media report and interpret information about society itself, chronicle its history as social unit, highlighting its successes and failures as well as it values, and provide guidelines and teach citizens how to behave and what is expected of them.” From the above, it has become abundantly clear that FRCN plays effective role in attitude change and national development through dissemination of innovative programmes.

HISTORY OF FRCN

     The federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) is the pioneer broadcast organization in Nigeria with a rich culture of excellence. The corporation has evolved through different stages to become what it is today-the largest Radio network in Africa.

     Avoidable records reveal that Radio broadcasting was introduced into Nigeria in 1933 by the then colonial government. It relayed the overseas service of the British Broadcasting Corporation through wired system with loudspeaker at the listening end.

     The service was called Radio Diffusion System (RDS). From the RDS emerged the Nigeria Broadcasting service (NBS) in April 1950. Prior to the NBS, the colonial Government Local Commissioned the Nigeria Broadcasting Survey undertaken by Messer Byon and Turner which recommended the establishment of stations in Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan and Kano. Mr. T.W Chalmers, a Briton and controller of the BBC light entertainment programme was the first director general of the NBS. The Nigerian broadcasting corporation (NBC) came into being in April 1957 through an act of parliament number 39 of 1956. The director general was Mr. Jac Knoth Obe.

     In 1978, the Nigeria broadcasting corporation was recognized to become the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). The NBC was instructed to Landover 105 stations that broadcast on medium wave frequencies in the states to the state governments and it over short wave in transmitters from the states. The broadcasting corporation of Northern Nigeria (BCNN) was emerged with the NBC stations in Lagos, Ibadan and Enugu to become the present day FRCN. The Reverend Victor Badego was the first indigenous director general of Radio Nigeria.

     Today, the FRCN as a public service broadcaster with its head quarter in Abuja, has national stations in Enugu, Ibadan and Gwagwalada FCT, plus a Lagos operation office. The national stations control act 37 FRCN FM/MW/SW stations spread across the country reaching more than 100 million listeners, broadcasting in 15 languages, catering to the diverse broadcast needs of a multi-ethnic Nigeria’s. The corporation also has four of its stations streaming live audio on the internect at www.radionigeria www.online.gov.ng Thus reaching millions of Nigerians with messages geared towards attitude change and sustainable national development.

     Presently, FRCN has six zonal stations that cover the development needs of the six geo-political zones of the country. The present management of the FRCN has transformed the corporation to truly “upright the people and unite the nation.” The current Director General of FRCN is Alhaji Laden Salilrel who resumed duty on February 8th, 20014.

Theoretical Framework

     In a quest to adequately reflect the issues involved in this study, the researcher deemed it necessary to review development media theory. This is because our study is based on it and it explains the concepts in this work.

Development Media Theory

     This theory was propounded by African experts with the aim of channeling communication to the development needs in third world countries. It stands for positive use of the media in national development. The mass media under this theory are deployed for social, economic and political development. The media are used to enhance national development.

     According to Okunna (1999:136) “this theory emerged in the 1980s to fill the voice which became increasingly noticeable as the gap between the developed and developing widens, it become apparent that none of the classic theories of the press was strictly applicable to developing countries, even though the mass media in these countries were operating according to some of the principles of classic theories”. Under this theory, the media are partners in progress and are expected to sing the tunes of national integration, unity and progress among others. The media serve as a facilitator and enhancer of national development.

     Mcquail (1987:119-121) submitted that “because of the great variety of economic and political conditions and changing nature of situation in developing countries, it will be difficult and practically impossible to effectively apply the classic theories of the press in developing countries, lance a new theoretical framework that will comprehensively address the problems of developing countries should be evolved.” Therefore, development media theory is an answer to the needs of the third world nations. Because it specifies how media can be used to achieve and accelerate socio-political and economic development of the third work countries.

     Nigeria are a third world nation is not left out. This theory is relevant to this study because FRCN as mass medium has played effective roles in socio-political and economic development of the country. It has helped in solving and focus attention to development issues and problems affecting the country. This medium has also helped to create public consciousness about development issues through its attitude change campaign programmes. It has stimulate changes in condition where change would have been impossible. FRCN has identified itself in the vanguard of national development through its communication support programmes. It is inline with its development roles that guide the operation of this medium. FRCN activities and programmes are geared towards the overall development of the country as evidenced in its mission statement which is uplifting the people and uniting the nation,”

Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Attitude Change

     Communication experts says that any attempt at getting the people to take part in an innovative programmes must provide the people with the people with the necessary information to enable them to understand the significance of the programmes and take decisions either to accept or reject the requirement change.

Scbranm (1964:35) supported this view thus;

     “Even on such matters as health, comfort and knowledge, a developing nation must decide what it wants to do, how fast, how far it want to go and whether it wants to do something at all. Our belief is ……. That without adequate information such a decision is bound not to be a national decision at all. Providing people with information with a view to making them adopt an innovative idea means changing there conception and world view in order to achieve a change of attitude.

     Okoro (1995:25) supported the above assertion when he said “the most important requirement for change to occur in any given society is that the people themselves must have (SIC) to change”.

Nyamnjoh (1995:434) added “for Africa to develop, people had to change there attitude and ways. To achieve this, they need information and persuasion.” From the above points, it is abundantly clear that attitude change is an essential facilitator of development. A country can not develop beyond her level of attitude. Okunna (2002:300-301) corroborated the above assertion when she said “development is a change process, which requires an attitude and behaviuor change among the audience in order to accept and adopt the change. This means that people should be sensitized and mobilized to create a favourable atmosphere for change to take place”. In essence, attitude change is a psychological thing; it has to do with a detachment from traditional ways of doing things to embrace a modern ways. And FRCN helps to facilitate this change process in the country.

     For Mogekwu (1995:289), “there was the need to discard most of traditional ways and values and embrace modernity, if a nation is to be seen as developed”. Effort at inducing attitude change must consciously involve systematic information capable of sensitizing the people on the need to adopt new ideas.

Whiting (1982:114) supported the above assertion when he said “information can change the individual’s conception of ideas. The most potent change occur when the message strike the nucleus of a person’s structure of conception and result in a rearrangement of message content. What people can do have a powerful effect with what they actually will do and one way to change people’s behaviour is to change the premise under which they must act.”

     In this regard, FRCN plays an important role in mounding and influencing the attitude of Nigerians. This is imperative because attitude has irresistible influence on people’s behaviour and orientation which can either promote or impede development. Without the involvement of FRCN, changes in attitude and overall aspect of the country may be impossible. As a responsible radio catering to the needs of Nigerians, FRCN provides information campaigns to change people’s attitude, beliefs and behaviour for development.

     What Nigeria needs today is not just development but sustainable and long lasting development. That is why attitude change is imperative. Until our attitude change, our hope of becoming a developed nation remains and unrealistic dream; ministry of national planning (1980) corroborated, the above statement when it said “it is clear that national development does not start with goods, services and things, it, starts with people there orientation, organization and discipline’. According to its report “when a society is properly oriented, organized and disciplined, it can be prosperous on the scantiest basis of natural wealth.”

FEDERAL RADIO CORPORATION OF NIGERIA (FRCN) AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

     FRCN is a development resource which has contributed significantly to the realization of the development goals in the country. For more than a decade now, FRCN has been at the vanguard of national development. Therefore, it is imperative to know that FRCN serves the development needs of the country through the following ways;

  1. Information support services
  2. Mass mobilization campaign
  3. Political stability
  4. Policing
  5. FRCN as a social cultural facilitator
  6. Unification/integration
  7. Educational advancement.

INFORMATION SUPPORT SERVICES

       Information is an indispensible element of development. There can be no meaningful development in a country, if there is no basic information reaching the citizenry to draw attention to the problems being talked, to sensitize them and galvanize them, and get them readily disposed favourable towards issue at state. Information remains a powerful force in terms of causing people to interact with one another and getting them involved in solving a common problem.

       In this regard, FRCN plays effective role in disseminating development oriented information that will stimulate national development. It raises awareness about development problems and issues through its programmes such as network news, Radio link, health watch, public enlightenment and infusive commentaries among others.

MASS MOBILIZATION CAMPAIGN

       Mass mobilization is the reawakening and activation of the dormant consciousness of a majority of people with use of new ideas and percussive message for the purpose of winning their support for any development action.

       FRCN is imperative for mass mobilization campaign towards national development. FRCN helps to mobilize the people to support development efforts, plans and policies. National development is a participation of majority of Nigerians not only as individual but as people with diverse ability in thought and skill. This is why mobilization is indispensible and pivotal to national development.

       FRCN helps in mass mobilization through jingles, news analysis, Radio link and commentaries in order to reactivate the dormant revolutionary and development consciousness of Nigerians for collective action and active participation in development process. Mass mobilization is the fulcrum of national development requires consisted and joint effort by citizenry to harness the forces of nature and human potential for their own material being. The fact that human nations are organized in groups makes it necessary that the process of material improvement and national development can only be achieved through collective effort, hardwork and perseverance.

POLITICAL INSTABILITY

       FRCN has contributed significantly in strengthening democracy and enhancing a healthy political atmosphere in the country. Politics permeates every facet of the society. It is an aspect of the society that virtually affect every thing we do.

       National development can not thrive in atmosphere of political crisis, conflict and rancor. FRCN maintains political stability by serving as a bridge between the government and the governed. It helps to transfer information from government to the people and, carries people’s yearnings and aspiration back to policy makers, thereby creating a two-way communication or interaction between the leader and the led. FRCN has achieved this great feat through its network. Political programmes such as “Election matters,” “The senate,” “The people’s representatives,” “Ministerial platform,” “Public complaint Half Hour” and political platform among others.

POLICING: FRCN plays the watch dog role to the country by exposing crimes and other anti-social; act. It, makes the public to be security conscious Nigerians are put on the guard by reports of crimes and insecurity in the country. They are made security conscious in order to avoid falling victims to reported crimes keeping the public informed about the security situation in the country is a key contribution of FRCN in maintaining peace, law and orderliness in the country.

       FRCN contributes in crime fighting by exposing criminals and incidents of crime, including the penalties those convicted of crime would be facing. FRCN network programmes such as “Police Diary (Tuesday, 8.30am, help to facilitate the work of security operatives by exposing fraud in the society, providing a lead for police investigation and reporting efforts made by the police in fighting crime.

       “Crime watch” is another programme that is geared towards crime in the country.

       Also, FRCN helps to check the excesses of public office holders through the following network programmes, “Eagles on Radio” (Monday, 8.30 am), “EFCC Half Hour”, and “political platform.” The objective of these programmes is to inculcate accountability transparency and sense of responsibility in public office holders.

NATIONAL UNIFICATION/INTEGRATION: this is a contribution of FRCN which is of particular importance in country in which ethnic, religious, political and other diversities divide people. FRCN provides messages which people from different groups in the country requires in order to know, understand and appreciate each other. In the midst of ethnic and religious diversities in the country, unification/integration has been identified as a solution.

       In Nigeria, when the different FRCN stations in different sates of the federation exchange programmes about their people’s way of life, this could be seen as an attempt at national integration/unification. By listening to such programmes, people at one stale can get to understand and appreciate the patterns of life, viewpoints and aspiration of other states such an understanding could minimize or even eliminate the fear and ethnocentricism which usually form the basis of mistrust which divide people along cultural, religious, political and other ceries

       Therefore, FRCN ensures that divergent groups live together harmoniously in the country.   It means an attempt to foster lasting unity and peaceful co-existence in the country.

FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST FEDERAL RADIO CORPORATION OF NIGERIA (FRCN)

v   Poor funding: this is a major problem that has been affecting the operation of FRCN. The corporation is starved of adequate subvention by the government, poor funding leads to non-payment of staff at when due, lack of staff motivation and poor salary structure.

v   Over bearing government influence: the saying that le who pays the piper dictate the time is a great challenge facing FRCN. The federal government exercises total control over the activities of the corporation including the appointment and dismissal of FRCN staff. The editors know that once any story contravening the government interest is aired, their job is at state. Government functionaries, especially through ministry of information monitors the entire operation of FRCN. FRCN is the mouth piece of government and this affects objectivity, credibility and professionalism.

v   Lack of modern facilities: this is directly a result of poor funding. FRCN has not complied to the directive of national communication commission (NCC) that on or before 2015, every broadcasting outfit should switch over to the digital and ultra-modern broadcast equipment. Digital equipment for modern day broadcasting is grossly inadequate in FRCN. This affects its production quality and signal transmission.

v   Absence of life assurance scheme; its unfortunate that the federal government has no provision for life assurance scheme for FRCN staff. Some competent and dedicated staff of FRCN have lost their loves in cause of carrying their official assignments. Still the governments have not provided effective welfare mechanism that will protect and secure their lives.

DISCUSSION

       An attempt has been made to highlight the roles of FRCN in stimulating attitude change and enhancing national development. This paper focuses on the impact of FRCN in attitude change and national development.

       From the analysis of the concepts of attitude change and national development, it becomes clearer for us to perceive that FRCN has taken pain-staking efforts in ensuring positive changes in the socio-political and cultural structures, attitudes as well as the acceleration of economic growth and the eradication of the state of backwardness in the country.

       Development can not meaningfully take place in isolation. Policies and plans aimed at achieving development goods have to be communicated to the people, people have to be mobilized to support development efforts and people have to change their attitudes. Communication is central to attitude change and national development. FRCN provides communication support services which accelerates attitude change vis-à-vis national development.

       FRCN participate actively in national development and attitude change through the dissemination of development oriented information. This according to nwabueze (2006:79) is “the dissemination of development message to the target audieres often with a view to persuading them to adopt a positive attitude. Change towards a development purpose at any level”. Any attempt at getting the people to take part in any innovative programmes must provide the people with the necessary information to enable them to understand the significance of the programmes. FRCN provide Nigeria’s with a view to making them change their attitudes and contribute their quoter towards development.

       Other contributions of FRCN to attitude change and natural development include; mass mobilization campaign, political stability socio engineering path/sending, policing, socio-cultural facilitator, national unification/integration and educational advancement among others.

       Finally, the problems affecting FRCN like; poor funding, inadequate modern facilities, over-bearing government and absence of security assceranced scheme were also highlighted.

SUMMARY

Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria remains a protest instrument for attitude change and national development. It acts as a reformer, mobilize, inform, accelerator, Aducator integrator and educator, which facilitates national development. FRCN has achieved the nation’s development objectives through its network programmes Radio link, health watch, public enlightenment, the senate ministerial platform, people’s representative, police diary, crime watch, political matters, commentaries and Eagles on radio among others.

CONCLUSION

       Governments and change agents must note that for government to articulate sound policies without reaching the target audience is targeting as irredeemable as a dead man. Therefore, FRCN can be used to raise awareness about development problems and issues. FRCN can create public consciousness about development. FRCN can also inform people and help them make right choices such as farm produces and healthy behaviour. It can influence policy makers; this is because policy makers pay attention to news, and follow the FRCN closely, because the news reflects and shapes popular opinion.

RECOMMENDATIONS

       In order for FRCN to effectively enhance attitude change and national development. The following recommendations are necessary;

v    FRCN should be equipped with modern facilities and ultra-modern digital studio for quality service delivery.

v    Government and change agents should not ignore FRCN while planning development programmes

v    FRCN should be given free hand and level of independence from frequent government influence.

v    FRCN should be properly funded by the government.

v    FRCN staff should be provided with security assurance scheme for effective performance.

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