Rethinking Nigeria’s Development Using African Traditional Communication Media for National Orientation

Calabar Journal of Liberal Studies 20 (1) (2018)
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This paper examines the problem of poor orientation of most Nigerian citizens, especially the rural dwellers, occasioned by the dearth and failure of modern media in rural Nigeria; a phenomenon that has led to a major setback in participatory governance and national development in a country. The objective of the paper is to investigate the causes of modern media failure in national orientation and development in Nigeria and to examine the need to adopt traditional African media as a viable alternative in Nigeria’s national orientation and development programme especially at the grassroots. This paper assumes that African traditional communication media as effective tools have been ignored in the national orientation programmes despite their relevance to national development. The paper adopts an analytical research method to examine secondary sources of data on the constraints of modern media in rural Nigeria and the viability of African traditional media in Nigeria’s national orientation and development’s efforts. Findings reveal that most Nigerian citizens, especially rural dwellers, do not understand national orientation messages because they are broadcast in English rather than their respective languages and the broadcasts are made on modern media channels that exist in urban areas. Findings also reveal that that government’s lack of political will, high cost of setting up community media, absence of professional journalists and selfish interests of Nigerians are factors responsible for the non-existence of modern media channels in rural Nigeria. Findings also reveal that African traditional media is very compatible to the communication needs of rural Nigerians. The paper concludes that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Nigeria has had reduced effectiveness and therefore, recommends the use of African traditional communication media in addition to the use of modern media such as television, radio and print materials to accord Nigerians the necessary orientation that will commit the citizens towards the task of national development.


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