Spirit of Nigeria Radio is aimed at bridging the information gap between Nigeria and its citizens in the diaspora. It is also designed as a platform to celebrate Nigerians in the diaspora.
The station, which transmits from Lagos, is renowned for its hardcore Nigerian news and current affairs programmes spiced with strictly Nigerian Music.
In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the brain behind Spirit of Nigeria Radio, Toye Arulogun, speaks about the uniqueness of his station.
PT: What is the inspiration behind Spirit of Nigeria Radio and the choice of the name?
Arulogun: Spirit of Nigeria Radio was borne out of a strong desire to bridge the information gap between Nigeria and its citizens in the diaspora. The need for an authentic source of information was the prime motivation for the concept in this era of misinformation, disinformation, fake news, negative news, and the bad reputation of our dear country in most parts of the world. The Spirit of Nigeria Radio project is driven by a patriotic zeal that says to the world that there are more positives than negatives that deserve projection in and around brand Nigeria. We need to tell our own story by sending out our narratives and not defined by the narratives of the western or imperialist media. It is also designed as a platform to celebrate Nigerians in the diaspora.
PT: It’s a little over eight months since you launched the station. How has the response been?
Arulogun: In the sixty days of going live, Spirit of Nigeria Radio has been very well accepted by its core target of Nigerians between the ages of 25 and 65 who live and work in the diaspora. Nigerians in the diaspora believe in Spirit of Nigeria Radio as their own platform to connect with Nigeria and reach out to fellow countrymen and women in the diaspora. More importantly, they recognise and engage it as their own voice to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the nation, contribute to national development and share experiences on living and working in the diaspora. In addition to the sense of patriotism that the station exudes, the strictly Nigerian music policy attracts a high listenership because Nigerians in the diaspora connect with home through the music.
PT: I know it might be a little too early to ask but do you have any highpoints yet?
Arulogun: Certainly, there have been highpoints since we commenced broadcasting to Nigerians in the diaspora. We transmitted live the full content of the National Diaspora Day celebration by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission which was capped by an interview with its CEO. We have interviewed more Nigerians in Diaspora within our first sixty days than any radio station. This list is a long one and we are talking of Nigerians doing exceedingly well in the Diaspora across continents.
Our celebration of the 23rd memorial anniversary of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was a ten-hour delight that gave us one of the highest listenership figures across the globe.
Spirit of Nigeria Radio is the first media house to interview Victor Agunbiade, the Nigerian in the US Navy who received an exemplary accountability commendation for accounting for 45 million USD without a cent unaccounted for. After that interview, six media houses, three universities, and NIDCOMM reached out to him.
In the same vein, Ola Sanni, an award-winning realtor in Chicago has spoken to us. Also , Yomi Faparusi, the Nigerian contesting for a Senate seat in the state of Tennessee in the US, was unique as he reached out to Nigerians in the diaspora to support his bid and made a case for active participation of Nigerians in global politics. Quite a number of others are available in the audio archive section on our website.
Similarly, Tolu Akande – Sadipe , the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora, has shared her activities with us in a long conversation on Weekend Nigeria and the African Union approved our discourse with Esther Titilayo Akinlabi, Director Pan African University for Life and Health Sciences Institute on the 9th of September which was African Union Day. It is instructive that we had to do a formal letter which was approved before she could grant us an audience to discuss and promote the African Union.