The Nigerian government says it has successfully jammed the signals of Biafra Radio, a new channel that has been accused of spreading propaganda.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Shade Yemi-Esan, made this known Tuesday.
Speaking with journalists at the presidential villa after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of her ministry, Ms. Yemi-Esan said the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation successfully blocked the signals of the radio station.
Radio Biafra was floated by some Nigerians in the south east of the country. While its backers say the radio caters for the needs of people from the region, the network is also known from propagating the ideology of the former secessionist Republic of Biafra.
“Right now the signals from radio Biafra have been jammed successfully by the NBC,” Ms. Yemi-Esan said.
“The commission is also working with security agencies to get those that are behind that radio because it is an illegal radio, it is not licensed by anybody to be on the airwaves in Nigeria,” she said.
She said the government may re-open information centres abroad to launder the image of the country.
She said government’s information centres currently exists in all states of the federation, but are not functioning optimally.
“We are happy with the response we got and the concerns of President on the work we are doing, especially the publicity aspect. He wants us to intensify publicity because he wants every Nigerian to know about the policies and programmes of this government,” she said.
On the response of the president in respect of reopening information centres abroad, she said “at different fora, the President has said it, that he wants to improve the image of Nigeria and one of the ways we can do that is by the re-opening of these centres abroad, so he was all for it and he said that we will work together to ensure that we do that”.
The permanent secretary said she also briefed the president on the nine parastatals that are under the ministry, the work they do and some of the challenges they face.
“Most of the challenges have to do with adequate funding. We talked especially about national press centre that is not working up to a level that we expected,” she said.
She said the president also raised concerns about piracy in Nollywood and instructed that the ministry should work harder to ensure that the producers of Nollywood films get what is due to them and that piracy is reduced to the barest minimum.
On the welfare of media practitioners, she said the practice of unpaid salaries and lack of proper welfare package should not be heard of in a country like Nigeria.
“Mr. President frowns on things like that, the welfare of every Nigerian, especially journalists, is one of the major concerns that we have,” she said.