Ten years after the completion of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Charity FM Asaba, Delta state, the station is yet to hit the airwaves.
The station is one of the approved 32 FM projects of the federal government then.
Sad enough, the Charity FM is the only station in the South-South zone of the country that is begging for commissioning at least to register its presence in broadcasting for the state.
It has had three general managers since 2007 whose duty was mainly to interface with the state government and relevant agencies for the station to be fully realised.
It was discovered by the previous administrations in the state why the station could not go on air that its mast is on the right way of the Asaba international airport. Although the state government had expressed willingness to relocate the airport since 2007 but nothing has happened, even as the Okowa administration is not resting on its oars to ensure that the FM station goes on air.
The delay to put the station into use since 2007 has, however, drawn the ire of a non-governmental organisation, the Buhari Friends Organisation (BFO) which sought to know the reason while the station was lying idle.
According to the coordinator of the group in Aniocha South of the State, Mr. Fayise Akub Kareem, in a letter to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed dated December 28 2016, Deltans should be told the hide and seek games hindering the stations take off.
In a reply to Kareem’s request dated February 28, 2017, the management of FRCN blamed the Delta state government for the inability of the station to take off, though the present administration said it was not sleeping over the matter to relocate the station.
The reply signed by the Director General of FRCN Dr. Mansur Liman, reads inter-lia
“Delta state government provided land for the FM project and we have completed the building and installed 250KVA generator”.
“In 2007, the Delta state government intimated the co-operation that the location of Charity fm Asaba is on the right of way to Asaba International airport and the Delta state government would relocate the Fm station at its own cost, till date, we are waiting for Delta state government intervention.
“The co-operation had made several efforts to Delta state”.
The Delta state government on its own clarified it stand on the issue through a document tittled “Delay in the relocation of radio Nigeria Charity fm 104.4 from the Asaba airport vicinity”.
The document with the Nigerian Tribune states, “The decision to relocate the radio Nigeria Fm was made by the previous administration in 2011 based on the hazard posed to air traffic by the height of the radio station mast and the interference of signal from the station with the signal of air control facilities at the airport.
“However, the approval for the assistance sought by the station could not be obtained before the expiration of the tenure of the previous administration in May 2015.
On resumption of duty, a memo was done to his Excellency, the governor, presenting the issue and soliciting for an appropriate land and a cash grant of N20m to assist the station to relocate. His Excellency has graciously approved this request and the process to release the fund to the station is on.
Also, the honourable commissioner for lands and survey has been informed of the approval by his Excellency and requested to seek for an appropriate land for the radio station. It is obvious that most lands in the vicinity the station seeks have been allocated and it may take a little while to secure an appropriate place for the station. While this is on, we call on the station to be patient to enable the government sought out the challenge”.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said despite government assistance, FRCN should have done the needful to get the station on.
According to him, over five private fm stations have commenced transmission in Delta state without anybody assisting them.
“There is no way the station can build a mast at the airport, if that station has commitment, it is something the management can do”.