In the emerging Nigeria of the 1950s up till the early 1970s, Ibadan, Africa’s largest traditional megalopolis south of the Sahara, was, besides being the hub of Western Nigeria’s politics, also the centre of the nation’s cultural civilization and artistic creativity. The intervening decade witnessed bursts of artistic enter­prise and entertainment with the presence and activities of the likes of Prof. Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Prof Dapo Adelugba, Prof John Bekederemo Pepper Clarke, Demas Nwoko, the late Duro La­dipo and Yomi Ogunmola, who sizzled up the entertainment scene with rave theatri­cal performances and artistic shows.

Nightlife was upbeat with renowned high life and Juju musicians like Roy Chicago, Id­owu Animasaun, and Victor Olaiya entertain­ing night crawlers in many night clubs such as Grandstand in Mokola area of the city.

For many others, however, the major at­traction among the fun spots and haunts are the cinemas – Rex; Queens, Scala and Odion that screened popular Indian, Chinese and American movies.

But, perhaps, what made the city more renowned was the fact that it was the foun­tain and for a very long time, the citadel of broadcasting excellence in the country. In fact, after the rediffusion system introduced by Nigeria’s British colonial overlords, history was made when the then Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, established the first television sta­tion in Africa, WNTV, in Ibadan, the political headquarters of the region in 1959.

The feat came even before many European countries including France reportedly joined the proud league of nations to plug into the audio-visual revolution in public media com­munication.

Although the other two regions – North and East went to set up their own broadcast­ing stations in Enugu and Kaduna respec­tively, historians note that their operators trailed behind and took cues from the team of skilled professionals in the West. Notable names of this glorious era included former Nigeria High Commissioner to Britain, Christopher Kolade; veteran advertising gu­rus, Messers. Ted Mukoro and Dele Adetiba; Ambassador Segun Olusola; (Creator of village Headmaster TV series); Ms. Anike Agbaje Williams and Mr Segun Sofowote.

But by the turn of the 70s, Ibadan wit­nessed a dispersion of many of these major players in the artistic and entertainment cir­cuits as well as in the broadcasting industry. With this also waned the erstwhile robust outdoor life and social character of the city. Although Ibadan continued to play a leading role in broadcasting for the next few years, this progressively declined with the subse­quent state creation of 1976; 1987 and 1996 which decentralized the operations of the broadcasting station hitherto a joint legacy of the former Western State, as indeed the new autonomous entities went on to establish their own radio and television stations.

This and the proliferation of Frequency Modulation (FM) radio stations, promoted  by a Federal Government policy to establish such stations across the length and breadth of the nation in the following years, meant emigration for many of the experienced broadcasters in the city, whose expertise were needed to train other professionals and run these new stations. by a Federal Government policy to establish

However, Ibadan finally lost its prized po­sition in broadcasting, following the Ibrahim Babangida regime’s privatization of the in­dustry in the 90s which saw licensed private operators bringing panache and cutting edge technological innovation into programming and broadcast journalism.

The pace-setting status naturally fell on Lagos, which, perhaps, because of its met­ropolitan character as well as vast business potentials as the nation’s commercial capital, was one of the first to embrace the opportu­nity and till today unarguably has the largest number of radio and television stations in the country.

Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Port Harcourt, Kaduna and other parts also followed suit.


Decades after the lustre faded, Ibadan, Daily Sun can report, is currently witnessing a renaissance of its golden era in broadcast­ing as more and more private radio and television stations invade the city’s airwaves to give the older state-owned establishments a run for their money.

Although private broadcasting in the city had started in the 90s with the pioneering efforts of Chief Adebayo Akande who estab­lished Midlands Communications, a Cable TV outfit and Mr. Steve Ojo, who set up Galaxy TV at Oke Are area of the metropo­lis, competition grew keener and fiercer in the last decade with broadcast media owners moving in and angling for slices of the advert market.

A lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication Arts, University of Ibadan, Dr. Yinka Egbokhare, noted that Ibadan and its environs provide unique marketing possibilities for advertisers. Apart from its size put at over eight million people, the population of the province is largely het­erogeneous comprising government workers, teachers, higher institution students, business people, traders and artisans, who are largely indigenous Yoruba people with strong at­tachment to cultural values, norms and ways that make them targets for common advert message directed at the grassroots.

Aside this, the city has become more com­mercially appealing as it hosts many private and government agencies including tertiary educational and research institutions such as the University of Ibadan, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, University College Hospital (UCH), Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN); National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER); National Institute of Horticulture (NIHORT), Moor Plantation; Leads City University: Federal College of Cooperative, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Federal Sec­retariat and the Oyo State counterpart.

Added to this are the reviving economic and commercial activities in recent times. More industries have kept coming since the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BTAN) set up the largest factory to serve the West African coast in the early 2000s. Other inves­tors such as Mr Price, Shoprite, Film House, banks and insurance firms have also hit the city and, of course, with them, their top executives, middle and low level workers.

In 2014, two of the largest malls in the South West joined the big volume businesses that have now become the face of Ibadan erstwhile known for petty trading and a slow economic pulse.

Egbokhare also noted that the stifling operational cost of doing business in a place like Lagos may have driven the broadcast in­vestors to Ibadan, where it is relatively lower.

Before the advent of private broadcasting TV viewers and radio listeners had, had to be content with the Federal Government-owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) located at Gate and Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN), which has a FM station, Premier FM 93.5 on Oba Adebimpe Road, Dugbe Central Commercial District. Radio Nigeria also transmits on a vernacular station, Amu­ludun FM 91.1 located at Moniya, on the outskirts of Ibadan.

There is also the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), which has a TV arm and radio section comprising Radio OYO transmitting from Orita Akede, Bashorun and Oluyole FM 98.5 along Old Ife Road. Apart from these two in Ibadan, the BCOS radio has other satellite stations in Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun axis of the state.

But the state-controlled media have been joined in the last decade by private operators led by Splash FM 105.5, Murhi Interna­tional Television and its sister radio station, Star FM 95.1 promoted by Alhaji Muritala Gbadeyanka Busari; Raypower and African Independent Television (AIT) under Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s Daar Communications Ltd; Beat FM 97.9, a member of Megalec­trics, a Lagos-based media conglomerate that also runs Classic FM 97.3 and Naija FM, Lagos; as well as Space FM 90.1floated more than a year ago by veteran broadcaster, Otunba Deji Osibogun.

There is, of course, also Diamond FM 101.1, a community campus radio estab­lished by the University of Ibadan (UI) to serve the needs of the academic community and its environs, while Fresh FM owned by Gospel musician, Yinka Ayefele, is currently running test transmission.

The stage for the current lively and excit­ing competition was set about a decade ago, when Akande, shrugging off his disappoint­ing experience with the Midland Cable TV network experiment of the 90s, began radio transmission on the platform of an outfit named Splash FM.

The first metropolitan private radio station soon became popular, as it offered the audi­ence fresh and alternative perspectives in news and current affairs as well as enter­tainment, unlike the fare they were used to being served by the traditional broadcasting establishments.

Of course, the reach of the signals of the radio station and those that come after it spreads beyond the Oyo State capital and even extends to other neighbouring states of Osun, Ogun, Kwara and Ondo.

The command of this vast virgin field translated into huge advertising income for the young station as advertisers and advertis­ing agencies scrambled to market their products and services through the channel. This seeming monopoly was, however, soon broken as Splash FM’s success attracted the attention of the other broadcast investors, who began converging on the city like a pack of hyenas on a kill in the wild. Interestingly, each entrant has added a lot of colour and value to the audience as their quest neces­sarily challenged them to carve a niche for themselves enough to compel audience atten­tion and loyalty.

For instance, while some like Splash FM and Space FM placed premium on news and current affairs, others like Beat FM, Ray­power and Star FM emphasized entertain­ment and youth-focused programmes.

Despite the similarity they share, Space FM on its part tries to be different in its content and style by making audience-partic­ipation and grassroots education the centre of its programming policy, while Splash FM is an information source on diverse topics and subjects, as well political analysis and interviews.


“The Integrity Station”, a name that it has also adopted as its slogan, It is consistent in providing “timely and accurate informa­tion” both in its array of news bulletins, talk shows and other programmes on diverse departments of life. The station is popular with its daily newspaper review, Tifun Tedo, in Yoruba language between of 9:00am and 10:00am on weekdays and 8:00am and 9:00am on weekends.

Also, you are likely to see many radio listeners at home, in offices, shops or even in the car tuned to Splash FM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays listening to Bull’s Eyes, Voices and in the last political dispensation, From the Oyo State House of Assembly This Week presented by Edmund Obilo. He is known for his fearless and incisive questioning especially on Bull’s Eyes, an interview programme on which he puts public personalities, especially, politi­cians and public office holders on the spot. He also demonstrates sharp and perspectival periscoping of issues on Voices, a current affairs programme.

On From the Oyo State House of As­sembly This Week, he lays bare the foils and foibles of the largely semi-literate lawmakers that populated the 6th legislative assembly.

Another programme is the Morning Splash on it’s a.m. belt. Anchored by Ronke Giwa (a.k.a Ronny Gee), this is a dynamic maga­zine programme featuring information and entertainment. It has sections on auto-clinic, tips on purchases, traffic, guest appearances, arts and entertainment, trending and with politics in the air now, political reviews.

The station’s Human Resources Manager (HRM), Mr. Adesina Alawode, who spoke for the Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Oyebisi Asimolowo, boasted that Splash ranks as the number one in the states in the South West excluding Lagos. He cited as proof, the fact that it has consistently won the Nigerian Broadcasters Award as the Most Listened to Station in the region since 2010.


The station which celebrated its first anni­versary of transmission on February 14 (Val­entine’s Day) was according to its promoter, Osibogun, “established to take broadcasting to the people”, based on the realization that government was too far away from the people. According to him, while a councilor or parliamentarian in England is well known to his constituents and relates well with them on their needs, majority of the electorate in Nigeria have never met their supervisory councilor, local government chairman or senator as these are often remote from their constituents except when elections approach. Space FM, he explains is to bridge this gap by exhaustively reporting government affairs and giving the people of the grassroots the opportunity to air their views.

Elder Dada Ogundele, former Zonal Director of Radio Nigeria, Ibadan National Station who also pioneered Paramount FM, Abeokuta, Choice FM, Lagos and Amuludun FM, Ibadan, runs the station. He said: “In line with the proprietorial goal, Space FM specializes in governmental reporting and research-oriented programmes, with a lot of follow ups.” He said the station debuted by breaking the news on the discovery of the notorious den of kidnappers and ritualists at Soka, Ibadan, carrying live commentaries from the scene of the incident.

Because of its focus on the grassroots, it is not surprising that the radio stations has a menu of local programmes in the indigenous language as well as Yoruba versions of some of its Ombudsman and current affairs programmes. Some of these are: Idi Otito Lawa (We are for the Truth), an investiga­tive programme aired during the Edun Okan (Public complaint) belt and Oro to Nlo (Issue of The Day); as well as Oju Koju (Eye ball to Eye ball).

There are also news and current affairs programmes in Pidgin and Hausa Language to cater for the non-indigene residents.

On such programmes as Eyeball to Eye­ball, people in authority are brought on air to give account of their stewardship, based on public complaints. For instance, in the buildup to the election, the station focused on the problem of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) distribu­tion of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) among the populace, highlighting the voters’ complaints and featuring INEC officials to respond to them. Because the searchlight is beamed on other agencies in the health, edu­cation, environment and sanitation sectors, the station has, according to Ogundele, come to be called: “The Peoples’ Secretariat”, by the public in apparent acknowledgment of its watch dog role. to be called: “The Peoples’ Secretariat”, by

Among its on-air-personalities that have popularized the brand are: Tolu Adepoju, a former NTA reporter, Toba Yusuf, presenter of Hard Talk and Today’s Update as well as Sumbo Olanrewaju, who has done well presenting an array of programmes including a kiddies edutainment show, Brain Teasers.


This broadcasting house has been in opera­tion for three years. Although it started as an exclusively entertainment station beaming musicals and movies, moving on to accom­modating trending issues, with the youths, especially students as targets, Mr. Kayode Bamiduro, the Acting Station Manager and Head of News and Current Affairs told Daily Sun that, the station had recently had to intro­duce indigenous music such as Juju, Fuji and Yoruba Hip hop to serve older generation.

Also, the TV section which had hitherto aired mainly entertainment programmes including soap opera, movies, musicals and sports, commenced full news broadcasts since December 1, 2014, to, in Bamiduro’s words “give the public what they need.

“We found from the feedback that to reach the people, we can no longer feed them with what is perceived to be exclusively elitist programmes, that there was need to inject programmes that have bearing on the people we were dealing with. For instance, before now, we didn’t even speak Yoruba on air at all, but now, some local programmes have been added and the result is fantastic. People are placing adverts with us!”

MITV and Star FM are followed by the audience because of such programmes as AM Rendevous anchored by Mayor Isaac Brown, Alaragbayida jointly presented by the duo of Bamiduro and Dele Oladejo, as well as Old School Jamz featuring the old tunes of the 70s and 80s, anchored by Abimbola Olowu, popularly called BYZEE as well as Home Drive by Oluwatade Ojofeyitimi (a.k.a Don Tee).


Another youth focused urban radio. Start­ing transmission in January 2013, the station, according to its manager, Vickky Alozie, targets listeners between the 18 and 35 years age bracket:

“We came to give Ibadan, which was hitherto regarded as a big village, rare broad­casting experience.” Asked if the investment target was not falsely premised, given the composition of the audience as a largely traditional and older generation.

She shot back: “No. Because though we have the older people, we have more schools here, higher institutions than perhaps, in any other place and that means plenty youths. Also many of the people who come to Ibadan are not necessarily indigenes. So we leave the older (media) establishments to take care of the old and indigenous people, while we try to reach the younger ones, spicing the mix up.”

Characteristically, therefore, Beat FM fea­tures programmes on health, living, relation­ships, business/entrepreneurship and other trendy or educational issues that can interest the average Nigerian youths. It also has large dose of musical entertainment.

A major attraction on this station is Wale Ozolua’s Morning Rush, a magazine pro­gramme offering wholesome information, education and entertainment all the way.


This broadcasting outfit with the parent station in Lagos and Abuja came to Ibadan and started test transmission from the fifth floor of Cocoa House, Dugbe in July last year going into full operation on Novem­ber 11. The move, explained Mr. Olayinka Olayanju, Head of Station, is part of Daar Communications corporate expansionist plan to have greater presence across the federa­tion, particularly the South West for which it secured licences to operate radio stations in Ondo, Osogbo, Ibadan in addition to Port Harcourt in the South South.

The company unpretentiously offers entertainment! And this it served essentially through music, which apart from having generous air play as distinct musical pro­grammes is also interweaved as an essential feature of other programmes such as talk shows.

The station/channel parades such shows as Raypower Lounge (noon to 2pm); Request Day; Throwback featuring both old foreign and local tunes) and Prime Time Africa by the duo of Kenny Ogungbe and D1. Then there is Ise ya, that caters for local music taste between (10:30am – 11:50am) daily.

But more quite popular are the Ultimate Morning Show, Drive Time Show and Power Play that delight listeners with current songs in the different musical genres. For Muslims and Christians, Fridays and Sun­days are devoted to playing special Islamic and Christian songs.

“We have also tried to blend with the real­ity in terms of audience satisfaction by mix­ing Yoruba and English in our programmes, said Olayanju: “For instance, we have Oye La which comes up between 5.00am and 6.30am when the station opens.”


Although it is not profit-oriented, the five year-old University of Ibadan campus radio has held its own in the competition among the broadcasting stations in the city in terms of quality programming and presentation. Run majorly by some staff members and volunteers, and students in the Department of Communication and Language Arts, hoping to major in broadcasting and their colleagues in other departments with a flair for the microphone job, the station runs a 12 hour- schedule starting from 8:00am the close down at 8:00pm.

It does virtually what others do, but with a slant on how this affects the university com­munity. A popular programme on the radio is Diamond Safari, a breakfast magazine programme aired daily between 9:30am and 11:00am. Its highlights include issue of the day, traffic situation report, tit bits and music.

Fridays are devoted to the Yoruba version of this programme handled by Tunji Ajibade, of the rested Galaxy Television’s Talo ga ju fame. The anchor features special guests from all walks of life and listeners phone in to interact with the studio.

Of course, as an academic community, with wide range of intellectual resource at its disposal, experts from the various depart­ments and faculties are regularly featured to dissect and give opinion on many a burning issue in health, politics, security, education, technology, science, literature on the station. The radio also dedicates some hours to airing prepared lectures for students in the University’s Distance Learning mode.

Mr. Paul Anthony Emokhare, the station manager, said it’s a testimony to the quality of professionalism of the station that other broadcasting houses rush to poach some of its good hands: “At least, two of our former volunteers are with the Splash FM as we speak.”


The coming of the private stations no doubt posed serious threat and challenge to the existing public-owned broadcast organizations including the NTA, FRCN and the BCOS, bogged down by poor official funding, dearth of or obsolete equipment, and lack of motivated workforce who also oftentimes lacked professional initiative.

Attempts at getting details of the responses of the managements of the FRCN and the NTA to this emergent threat failed as their zonal directors were not available for inter­views on the various visits to their establish­ments. Requests for interview appointments were also not honoured.

However, the BCOS responded with a robustness that not only kept its traditional patrons intact, but also a dynamism and aggression that has its secured its position as one of the top players in the competitive industry. It owes this to the good fortune of having a core of seasoned, technology-savvy and result-driven professionals appointed to govern it at the time the private stations were making their incursion.

The team, led by Yanju Adegbite, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Chief Executive Officer and Yomi Layinka, Chief Operating Officer, were appointed by Gov­ernor Abiola Ajimobi and deployed in 2011 to turn around the broadcasting house, which had almost gone comatose.

Adegbite with a career spanning about four decades which had seen him crossing the radio and the tube, was a foundation staff of Radio OYO, the precursor of BCOS and was the “first personality to speak on air” when the BCOS TV birthed in 1982. He has been in private TV production and consul­tancy, since he quit the organisation. Layinka is also a seasoned broadcast content designer/ consultant with several years of experience in the private sector.

Adegbite told Daily Sun that the team met a station with a grossly mutilated operating standard, obsolete equipment, desecrated ethical value, high level of indiscipline, bloated workforce whose lack of initiative had resulted in the loss of audience.

In terms of content political interference had dented the station’s credibility with the viewership and listenership, with consequent drop in advert revenue: “There were frequent transmission failures – poor signals. Some­times, the station was completely off air for days, if not weeks. Of course, advertisers migrated to the nearest competitors.”

Coupled with this was dearth of funds which Adegbite said was a big challenge to the interventionist task force which report­edly met only one functional and “start and fix camera” and two editing bases for the whole station.

Eager to attract the audience back, the new management purchased 15 new cameras on credit, eight computers for post production processes and created two editing suites. This dramatically enhanced the quality of output on TV, while the News and Current Affairs Department was overhauled.

Besides creating a hybrid newsroom for both TV/ Radio equipped with 10 moni­tors to grab news as they break on the local and global scenes via several channels, the 7:00pm news was repackaged into the sta­tion’s flagship bulletin – enriched with the duration extended to one hour. In addition are news bulletins at 7:30am, 9:00am, 12 noon (the Oyo State news) and National news at 5.00pm. All of these have Yoruba versions.

Innovative programmes were also introduced. One of this, The Yomi Layinka Interview that features Nigerian icons imme­diately caught on with the audience, because of its unusual setting, controversial subjects and the presenter’s hard tackling questioning style. The TV channel is currently on Chan­nel 113 on Star Times.

The BCOS, which, hitherto was re­garded as being youth unfriendly in its radio programming, also tackled the perception problem by introducing new programmes on the Oluyole FM to compete with the youth-oriented private stations, while strengthening Radio OYO to keep catering for its regular audience. Indeed, according to Adegbite, local programmes constitute between 85 per cent and 90 per cent of Radio OYO programme content.

Today, the BCOS has a rebranded logo and aesthetically appealing audio visual montages.

Adegbite: “We have, unlike what you had before, democratized our operations and tried to accommodate virtually all political parties in our coverage without bias. For instance, we just received a documentary on President Goodluck Jonathan, which had already been paid for. But before we, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) came in 2011, we were given total blackout.”


The BCOS chief said the various mea­sures taken have translated into increased patronage and income: “Although, we have not done any empirical study, when your Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) increases, it means that you have been accepted, it means that people watch you, because the wider reach you have, the more money you make. So our income has increased by 100 per cent. If we in this locality can attract as many as that on our 7 o’clock major news (News Around the World), it means our news is being watched by media monitoring agen­cies who advise advertisers on where to place their adverts for major impact.”

The story with the other broadcasting outfits is, however, a mixed bag. Splash FM Alawode, confirmed that as the most listened to radio station in the South West. “We pay our bills and do not owe the staff salaries”. Alawode, confirmed that as the most listened

Daar Communication’s Olayanju gave similar verdict: “Yes, despite our short stay in the business around here, people come to drop commercials on virtually all our programmes.”

Observers, however, note that the reputa­tion of the AIT/Raypower brand and the array of popular freelance artistes (some of them independent producers) such as Ambrose Somide, Gboyega Lawal, Ganiyu Abdul Rasaq (GRA) and Tunde Idowu, who are household names in the city and its environs, may account for its swift business success.

But Alozie (Beat FM); Osibogun (Space FM) and Bamiduro (Star FM) said business was still crawling. While Alozie attributed the situation to the lifestyle of the city, Osibo­gun said it could be due to false rating of the broadcasting by monitoring agencies: “As a young station, we’ve earned our pips. But the rating from the rating agencies may not re­flect the reality on ground. There’s corruption everywhere, whereby you are expected to give something to get a favourable mention. I think they should be more objective in their research.”

But in Bamiduro’s assessment: “Monetari­ly, it has not been rosy yet, because although most people like what we do, advert to support us is lacking, because Oyo is a civil service state; there are not so much multina­tional companies, unlike in Lagos.”

In spite of this, observers note that there must still be something that has made Ibadan city a major business attraction to broadcast media houses, with news that another, the Lagos-based Inspiration FM is on its way to setting up a branch in the conurbation.

For Egbokhare and Tina Momoh, an insur­ance executive and resident of the city, the trend has advantaged the people of the city in many ways.

Egbokhare: “It’s a welcome development in that as you can see, it is driving competi­tion in terms of content development and provision, it’s making a lot of people more savvy in the trade and it has offered the people more choices where to get informa­tion.

It’s something that has happened in Lagos. It has also encouraged the popular culture. And for us who have been advocat­ing the inclusion of indigenous language in broadcasting, I believe the experience has vindicated us.

Momoh said Nigerians have hitherto seen under served. But with the intense competi­tion among the stations, she said viewers and listeners now get quality services as the pro­viders now know they must offer excellent choices, unlike before when you get bored tuning from dial to dial.

She added that the establishment of the media houses has created a lot of jobs for many unemployed youths who now serve as producers, directors, presenters, reporters, editors and staff in the administrative, main­tenance accounts and advert departments.

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