We don’t shut op­po­si­tion – GM, Katsina Ra­dio

Malam Sani Bala Kaboma was re­cently ap­pointed Gen­eral Man­ager of Katsina State Ra­dio Ser­vice. In this in­ter­view, Kabomo shares his ex­pe­ri­ences, chal­lenges so far and how he in­tends to re­po­si­tion the ser­vice to com­pete in the sec­tor. Ex­cerpts:

Sunday Trust - - MEDIA -

From Habibu Umar Aminu, Katsina

What are the chal­lenges you met since your ap­point­ment?

Let me start by ex­press­ing grat­i­tude to the almighty cre­ator for spear­ing my life to reach up to this level. So also my thanks to His Ex­cel­lency the Gov­er­nor of Katsina State, Al­haji Aminu Bello Masari for find­ing me wor­thy of this as­sign­ment in line with my cho­sen pro­fes­sion.

My ap­point­ment was in Novem­ber last year and so am now ten months old in this new as­sign­ment. But be­fore then, I rose through the rank of jour­nal­ism to be­come a Di­rec­tor, Cur­rent Af­fairs of the news depart­ment of the sta­tion and I worked as an ed­i­tor, trans­la­tor, cur­rent af­fairs pro­gramme. I was also the pro­ducer of a po­lit­i­cal pro­gramme ‘Da Bazarku’ and crime beat called ‘Kundin Kuliya.’

The chal­lenges I met are enor­mous, but I thank God that a num­ber of the chal­lenges were sur­mount­able. The first chal­lenge I met was the is­sue of staff dis­ci­pline and im­proved pro­duc­tiv­ity to get qual­ity and rich pro­gram­ming for the sta­tion. This was in ad­di­tion to de­cay­ing and ab­so­lute equip­ment which needed to be re­placed in or­der to meet the modern needs of broad­cast. In fact these are the ma­jor chal­lenge, which by the co­op­er­a­tion of the man­age­ment we were now try­ing to over­come one af­ter the other.

Staff dis­ci­pline is be­ing re­stored, while work­ers are now alive to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties while up­grad­ing of our broad­cast equip­ment is on course grad­u­ally.

What are your key areas of devel­op­ment?

My plans for the ra­dio sta­tion are quite clear. First, it is my dream to leave a legacy wor­thy of em­u­la­tion in terms of trans­mis­sion and qual­ity pro­gram­ming. Sec­ondly, the is­sue of rev­enue drive is my fo­cused in ad­di­tion to en­hanc­ing staff wel­fare and train­ing to meet the modern chal­lenges of broad­cast.

How will you change the per­cep­tion that state-owned me­dia are al­ways as­so­ci­ated with the rul­ing govern­ment?

As a state-owned me­dia, I want to say that the present state ad­min­is­tra­tion has given us a free hand. In fact, the gov­er­nor had said times with­out num­ber that the state-owned me­dia is for the pub­lic and op­po­si­tion are free to air their views, which I will con­fess are en­joy­ing the priv­i­leged at the mo­ment.

Gen­er­ally, we are do­ing our job in ac­cor­dance with the ethic of the pro­fes­sion, which be­fore now govern­ment tend to put cen­sor­ship which jeop­ar­dize our work.

We fea­ture op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties in our daily po­lit­i­cal pro­gramme ‘Da Bazarku’ and news as­pect ei­ther on party plat­form, or on in­di­vid­ual ca­pac­ity.

There are fears that the on­go­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion process will shut some me­dia out­fits. How far is it with your sta­tion?

The dig­i­ti­za­tion for the ra­dio sta­tion is not on course for now, but what the govern­ment is fo­cus­ing on the dig­i­ti­za­tion of the tele­vi­sion sta­tion.

How­ever, the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion is keen on the re­vi­tal­is­ing the state-owned me­dia out­fit with full co­op­er­a­tion and sup­port by the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion led by Com­mis­sioner Hamza Mo­hammed Borodo and the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary. In­deed, they were help­ful to us in all as­pect of the ra­dio trans­mis­sion.

On plans for es­tab­lish­ing the FM sta­tions.

On this note, I want to com­mend the govern­ment for the com­mit­ment and re­solve to es­tab­lish three FM sta­tions to be lo­cated at Katsina, Fun­tua and Daura. Plans are in top gear, while pro­cesses for the award of the con­tract is about to be ac­com­plished.

How do you fore­see the sta­te­owned me­dia out­fit in the fu­ture in terms of qual­ity pro­gram­ming and ad­min­is­tra­tion?

I must con­fess and be thank­ful to God that the me­dia in­dus­try in Katsina es­pe­cially those owned by the state are be­ing trans­formed by the in­cum­bent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

By and large, very soon, we will come of age in terms of modern broad­cast and that is our hope and prayers al­ways.

Malam Sani Bala Kabomo, GM Katsina Ra­dio

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