The Voice of Nigeria (VON) is regarded as the official voice of Nigeria government in the international community just like the Voice of America, BBC World Service by the British government, Radio Moscow by Russia, DW is totally funded by German, Press TV by the Iranian Government; CCTV by China, the Qatar government-owned Aljazeera TV. The channels are used for politics, economy, social cultural and international diplomacy (Akintayo and Akinreti, 2016).
The Voice of Nigeria (VON) is expected to serve as an external broadcasting service otherwise known as international broadcasting with the objective to promote indigenous cultural values through its news and programmes broadcast using Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Fulfulde languages. VON was founded in 1961, the Voice of Nigeria started as External Service of the then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria). It was Then Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa commissioned the service (Akintayo and Akinreti, 2016).
What was tagged under-report or bias reportage of Africa and Nigeria in particular among other development warranted the establishment of the external broadcasting to serve as an authoritative source of information about Nigeria, African and the black situation to the entire world.
It should be called that when the VON first started, it could not transmit beyond West Africa shore and the transmission could not last longer than two hours daily because of the limited power of the transmitter (10 kW HF transmitter), it should be stressed again, that the broadcasting languages at that time were mainly English and French languages (NBC, 2018)
However, In 1963 VON broadcast hours extended to about six hours when it commissioned five prototype RCA 100 kW transmitters. Since then, more efforts to ensure more transmitting hours and reach more countries were put in top gear, and as a result, five Brown Boveri transmitters with antennae system were installed in 1989.
Similarly, on 5th January 1990 the Voice of Nigeria became an independent entity when it was separated from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria by Decree No. 15 of 14th May 1991. The Decree empowered VON to broadcast external news bulletins and programmes for and on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Currently, the director general of the radio is Mallam Abubakar B. Jijiwa (NBC, 2018). In 1996 another three state-of-the-art 250 kW Thomcast AG transmitters were commissioned to boost the transmission capacity and reach of VON programmes to the world.
The administrative headquarters of VON is in Abuja, whereas, VON transmitting station is situated at Ikorodu in Lagos State. Also, the News and Programmes are generated from the two ends i.e from Lagos and Abuja. Equally, in the year 2012, Voice of Nigeria commissioned another state of the art transmitting station at Lugbe, Abuja. The Corporate Vision and Missions of VON are highlighted below as culled from (NBC, 2018).
- To become the international radio broadcasting station of first choice for anyone interested in Nigeria and Africa.
- Reflecting Nigerian and African perspective in its broadcast, winning and sustaining the attention, respect and goodwill of listeners worldwide particularly Nigerians and Africans in the Diaspora.
- Making Nigeria’s voice to be heard more positively in the shaping of our world