Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal government has acquired an Amplitude Modulation (AM) radio broadcast licence that would be used to reach out to herdsmen in different locations in Nigeria, as part of effort to end farmers-herders crisis across some states in Nigeria.
Government said it realised that radio is the choice means of news for the herdsmen, hence the need to reach out to them through that means, with the message of peace, unity, tolerance and education.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who confirmed the acquisition of the licence in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the radio service will operate on frequency of 720KHz, and will be strictly on Fulani language.
He disclosed that plans are underway to secure funds for procurement and installation of requisite transmission equipment for the successful take-off of the radio station.
He said the radio services will, unarguably, serve as vehicle for social mobilisation and education, in addition to interactive radio instruction (IRI) methodology that would be adopted to reach the very hard-to-reach segment of our target population.
“Additionally, it will enhance our capacity to address crisis between herders and farmers with attendant consequences to loss of lives, destruction of productive assets, nomadic schools, facilities teaching and learning resources,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), Prof. Bashir Usman, explained that some veteran Hausa broadcasters have been contacted to develop programmes that would add impetus to the commission’s effort towards mass education of the target group.
He was optimistic that it would help entrench peace building, conflict management and resolution, with a view to promoting harmonious and peaceful co-existence between farmers and herders in the Nigeria.
He announced that no fewer than 617,518 pupils are currently enrolled in 3,582 various nomadic schools in Nigeria. This, he said, consists of 320,934 males and 296,584 females. It also includes the 202,050 pupils under early child care development education which also has 104,924 males and 97,126 females.
“This is an unprecedented quantum leap when compared with the 18,000 pupils at the inception of the programme in 1989,” he said.
He, however, confirmed that the Minister of Education had approved the construction of two model nomadic schools in Jigawa and Katsina states, and they would be equipped with 1,800 assorted furniture, VIP toilets and several other things that would enhance teaching and learning.