BRITISH BROCASTING TEAM VISITS UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA NSUKKA
The University of Nigeria, Nsukka on the 31st January and 1st February played host to a team from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) who visited the Institution to explore the availability of talents that will drive the corporation’s upcoming program in Igbo language and Pidgin English.
Members of the team included: the Nigeria Project Manager, Sarah Ansah, the Nigeria Editorial Lead, Bilkisu Labaran, the Senior Leadership Programme, Ade Adeluwoye and the BBC Enugu Reporter Abdussalam Ibrahim Ahmed.
The visit started with a brief meeting with the Director of ICT/Innovation Centre, Heads of Department of Mass Communication, Computer Science, Linguistics, Igbo and other Nigerian Languages and members of the Local Organizing Committee.
The BBC team, accompanied by the Director of ICT, Dr Olisa Okeke and the LOC members led by Anene Ifeanyi, paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Professor Benjamin Ozumba.
The Nigeria Editorial Lead, Bilkisu Labaran explained to the Vice-Chancellor that their visit was necessitated by the decision of the BBC to include three Nigerian Languages, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English in their services.
“We are here because the University of Nigeria is located in the heart of Igbo land and we believe that the human resources we need to drive the programs are available here” she said.
Bilikisu further explained that besides radio broadcasting, the new services would also be disseminated through the website, Facebook and Instagram
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Prof. Charles Igwe thanked the BBC team for choosing the University of Nigeria.
He stated that BBC Igbo service was long overdue given that the Corporation had been running Hausa service for over 40 years. “I can assure you that the University of Nigeria has all the manpower you need to run a vibrant Igbo service”, he said.
The Vice-Chancellor expressed his administration’s readiness to partner with the BBC on the project.
Meanwhile, the BBC team also visited the Faculty of Arts where they were received by senior members of the Faculty including the Dean, Prof Christian Onyeji Emeritus Prof. Oluikpe, Prof Innocent Nwadike, Prof Nnanyelugo Okoro, among others. They were also entertained by cultural dance troupe. The team later visited the Department of Mass Communication Studio and equally interacted with lecturers from the Department of Linguistics, Igbo and other Nigerian Languages.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WORKSHOP
The BBC team also held a two day workshop for 120 students drawn from the Departments of Mass Communication, Linguistics, Igbo and other Nigerian Languages, Computer Science and Institute of African Studies. The students were divided into six groups by the BBC resource person, Ade Adeluwoye. Each of the groups developed mini-tasks which ranged from target audience identification, development and presentation of one minute radio programs and identification of talents. Five of the groups developed and presented their tasks in Igbo language while one group worked on Pidgin.
At the end of the workshop, the Nigeria Editorial Lead, Bilkisu Labaran informed the students about opportunities presented by the new programs. According to her, vacancy announcement for the Pidgin service would be published on the BBC website-WSAfricajobs@bbc.co.uk– on February 2017 while that of Igbo Service would be announced by July 2017. She advised the students to avail themselves of the opportunity and join the BBC team.
Some of the students who shared their benefits on the workshop said it was quite revealing and educative. Njoku, Gerald Olisaemeka a postgraduate student of the Department of Linguistics, Igbo and other Nigerian languages said the workshop gave him insight into how BBC works and opened his mind to the opportunities that are available to the public. “I found the breakout sessions particularly interesting”, he concluded.
Ego Charity, an undergraduate student of the same department, said the workshop opened her eyes to her own creativity. From the Department of Computer Science, Onah Chukwuemeka David said it was a very educative workshop and he was especially impressed by the one-minute presentation task. Ibe, Ogechukwu Sonia still of Computer Science Department said she loved the breakout sessions because of its interactivity. She said that the workshop helped her to think about all the work that goes on behind the camera in making the news. She also suggested that more workshops like that be organized in the future.
BENEFIT OF THE VISIT
There exist enormous benefit in this partnership with the BBC if properly harnessed is going to create jobs, internship positions for our students and also consultancy position for our departments.