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AMARC welcomes community radio breakthrough

(AMARC/IFEX) - 19 October 2010 - The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) today welcomed the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to give the go-ahead for community radio in Nigeria.

In a speech at the opening of the Africast 2010 conference in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan announced that the Federal Executive Council had approved guidelines proposed for community radio licensing by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigerian broadcasting regulator.

The President stated further that government had devolved to NBC, the power to consider and issue the licenses without recourse to the presidency, once the applicant meets the legal conditions.

The move is a crucial breakthrough for Nigeria's Community Radio Coalition, which has been campaigning for such a move for several years since Nigeria returned to multi-party democracy.

Steve Buckley, AMARC International President, said: "We greatly welcome the announcement by President Goodluck Jonathan confirming the approval of proposals from the National Broadcasting Commission to proceed with community radio licensing in Nigeria. We especially applaud the delegation of licence assessment and decision making to the regulatory body as another important step in democratising Nigerian media law and regulation."

Oumar Seck Ndiaye, AMARC Africa President, added: "We congratulate the President and the Government of Nigeria for taking this bold step towards the development of community broadcasting, along side private and state broadcasting, to ensure the access of all people of Nigeria to information and communication, consistent with recommendations of the African Charter on Broadcasting which has been endorsed by African governments."

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