RADIO BROADCAST PROGRAMMES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA ( A STUDY OF RESIDENTS IN AGWU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE)
The research study was aimed at radio broadcast programmes and rural development in Nigeria; A study of residents of Awgu local government area. The study addressed four research questions. The study adopted the survey research design method using the questionnaire as the research instrument. The findings revealed among others that there are factors that hinder development of rural areas and its dwellers through the broadcast media (radio). The study recommended amongst others that the government should put up more and effective developmental programmes on radio ranging from educational programmes to enlightenment programmes and instructional programmes to foster development in rural areas and its dwellers. The study also suggested that further studies should be carried on radio broadcast programmes and rural development to eradicate the possible challenges emerging from rural development.
1.1 Background of the Study
From time immemorial, information has always played a prominent role in human life but the emergence of social progress and the vigorous development in science and technology has immeasurably increased the role of information in every facet of human endeavor. Information means different things to different people, some it may be in form of news on radio or television, and the print media, to some it may be a medical report which may be used for taking health decision, to an investor, financial report of an organization as a vital information to decide whether to stake ones investment in such or to divest, to some is the stock analysis and daily trading in the stock market (David, 2012).
However, one of the recent means of information dissemination and communication is the radio gadget. Radio came to be as a result of the invention of technology, therefore the history of radio in Nigeria started way back with British Broadcasting Corporation. 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 loudspeakers at the listening end (Harrison, 2011).
It is asserted that information aids and facilitates development at all levels. Information is now accepted as an important factor in the sustained development of any society because it reduces uncertainty, and enhances awareness of possible actions to take to solve problems. Lack of information is argued to act as a barrier to economic development because of importance of information provision in “capacity building” and “empowering communities” (Apata and Ogunrewo, 2015)
One of the vital sections of an economy that hungers for sustainable development is the rural areas. Hence, rural development remains one of the priorities of every present administration. Rural development is used to describe a strategy that is designed to improve the economic and social life of the people in the rural areas. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sees rural development as a process of socio-economic change, involving the transformation of agrarian society, in order to reach a common set of development goals, based on the capacities and the needs of the people. Rural development is a strategy that is designed to improve the economic and social conditions of a specific group of people, that is, the rural people. It involves extending the benefits of development to the poorest, among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas. Rural development generally, is used to denote the actions and initiatives taken to improve the standard of living in non-urban neighborhoods, countryside and remote villages (Johnson, 2013).
Through various developmentally oriented programs disseminated by various radio stations, it is expected that development will be triggered in rural areas. The three radio stations considered in this study are Radio Nigeria, Dream FM and Urban Radio. These radio stations broadcast various programmes ranging from entertainment programmes, political programmes and economic development programmes. However, the major programmes broadcasted by these radio stations that has the prospects of enhancing rural development are Economic Table, Political Voices and Talk Parlour hosted by Radio Nigeria Enugu, Dream FM Enugu and Urban Radio Enugu. In line with this, this study aims at carrying out empirically radio broadcast programmes and rural development in Nigeria (A study of residents of Awgu).