The Nigerian electronic mass media has recieved a fresh entrant to its folk, just as the Nigeria Police Force announced the establishment of its own national broadcasting and radio service that will serve the entire 36 states of the nation plus the FCT.
This initiative will be accordingly managed by the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service Limited (NPBS), a company jointly owned by the Police and a private entity, according to information made availbale to PEARL.
Mr. Jerry Wesley, Chairman of Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS) stated that the news and current affairs stations will be operational in all states of the federation and will be jointly funded by the force and private investors and other credible development partners.
The chairman in his words, “We are already online for over two months now, giving tips on security etc. The other three arms; radio, television and newspaper will come on stream simultaneously, we shall take off fully in October 2017. Right now, Microsoft is already involved as one of our partners.”
NPBS had already filed paperwork for a broadcasting license with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). PEARL understands that the processing of the license with NBC started sometime in 2012 and NPBS in 2016 got approvals for the first 19 states.
The public private partnership synergy will help the police force, as well as security agencies, communicate effectively with the general public especially on issues relating to kidnapping, human trafficking, fraud, robbery, recovery of stolen items, land disputes, domestic violence, child abuse, and other useful security tips that can help to nip security challenges in the bud. This will essentially help to bring the police back to the community and the community into the police.
Mr Wesley noted that the stations will operate like the normal television and radio stations except that it will not be advert based.
“We are not out to generate profit like the regular broadcast stations. There is no advert, people have to be part of the system and financially contribute to make it viable. It is a public service oriented project.” He said
On how to generate profit to sustain the two stations, he disclosed further; We are modelling it after similar projects in Japan, UK and Kenya. We have the UK Armed Forces that operate a broadcast service. It is also in Kenya, France and other countries. For instance, Formula 1 does not get advert, how does it make money? The police are for you and I, it is everybody’s project. Be your brother’s keeper, when you see something, say something, do something. That is the kind of awareness we are creating and the incumbent Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, is somebody with a vision. I think it is because he worked overseas. He called us to a roundtable conference when he saw the kind of vision we had, we spoke about the vision and he keyed into it.”