A radio station is an important tool of information dissemination, enlightenment, education and entertainment especially in rural parts of Nigeria where people are largely poor and lacking modern devices like televisions and computers.
To own a radio station involves some steps.
Step 1: Do a feasibility study
Consider why you want to start a radio station and the place of choice. Who will be your target listeners? How much do you have for it?
Step2: Acquire an office and name it
For a standard radio station, a spacious office may be needed because some licensing bodies may need to go onsite inspection of facilities before licenses are issued, and if their expectations are not met, the license may not be granted. Therefore, a radio station should have accessible road, neat and spacious compound, and good water supply. Every radio station should have names listeners can easily memorize.
Step 3: Open a bank account
Because financial transactions involving corporate bodies are largely electronic, it is advisable one opens a corporate account in the name of the radio station.
Every bank in Nigeria has different requirements for corporate accounts opening, but they are largely the same. Open a corporate account in the name of your new radio station.
This is the name that will be used to do all financial transactions concerning the company, and will be required for licensing.
Step 4: Acquire broadcast equipment and install them
A transmitter is an important device in radio broadcast. It is a device that turns electrical signals into radio waves so that they can travel long distances over certain frequency.
Transmitter used depends on budget and range of target audience.
Transmitters range from 15watts to 1kwatts, and its capacity determines how far its signals can travel. An antenna also is important. Antennas are used to amplify signal travel
and must be kept far away from other devices to avoid interference. Coaxial cables are used to transfer energy from transmitter to the antenna and have to be bought.
It is noteworthy that our power supply in Nigeria is very unsteady so an alternative to public power supply must be considered, hence radio stations have to run on generators or UPS to power the studio, transmitters, office air conditioners (where necessary).
Audio processors are used to improve and optimize the quality of sounds to be broadcast and are needed. Also, an interface panel remote control is required to input signals into the transmitter.
A mixer allows the Disc Jockey to control various aspects of radio broadcasts. Other pieces of equipment that are needed include power surge, computer automation software, rack mount, telephones, and connectors.
Step 5: Get a license
The first license is from Corporate Affairs Commissions (CAC) for registering a radio station as a legal entity in Nigeria.
One must have a registered name with CAC before forwarding an application to Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a broadcast license.
NBC is a commission which issues broadcast licenses and regulate the broadcast industry as contained in Act no. 55 (as amended) of 1999 Constitution.
Applications are made to the President of Nigeria through the Minister of Information. Upon receipt of application, the applicant will be expected to pay fifty thousand naira for NBC forms.
When the applicant has received these forms, he/she is expected to return the filled out forms with coy certificate of incorporation, station engineering design and feasibility study, Memorandum and articles of association, banker’s reference license, etc.
After this, license is issued. A license expires in 5 years, and is subject to renewal. Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt are the most expensive places to own a radio station in Nigeria.
The cost of broadcast license in these places is twenty million naira only while that of other states costs fifteen million naira only. Also, cost of license renewal in the 3 cities is five million naira only
while that other states cost four million naira only and are valid for 5 years. Application for license renewal is made 6 months before the expiration of the current license.
NBC has the authority to shutdown any radio station operating without a license in Nigeria, and that is why licenses are important.
Step 6: Employ people
A committed team must be set up to reach the goals of the radio station. Therefore, newscasters, journalist, cleaners, security men, Disc Jockeys (DJ), marketers, script manager, engineers (sound, electrical, mechanical, etc), production manager, etc must be employed.
The engineers will install, maintain and operate the gadgets.
When all these requirements are met, one can easily own a radio station in any location of choice in Nigeria depending largely on his or her budget and choice.
Private radio stations make returns mainly through commercial advertisements.
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