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Gov Emmanuel Inaugurates Comfort 95.1FM In Uyo

A new private owned radio station Comfort 95.1 FM, was last Wednesday, inaugurated by the Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel in Uyo. The governor, who described the radio station as the newest addition to the ever expanding broadcasting family in the state, lauded the chairman of the board of Comfort FM, Senator Effiong Bob for his "insight” in establishing the radio station in Akwa Ibom, which he noted, would have been sited at Lagos or Abuja, maintaining that the Senator's action has clearly demonstrated the love that he has for the state and his people and expressed optimism that the radio station will effectively serve the people of the state. Emmanuel charged the management and staff of Comfort FM to use their airwave as a medium to change public perception of local broadcasting from the era of misinformation, blatant lies or show of disrespect to constituted authorities. While pledging the readiness of his administration to partner with the press through the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), the governor, however, stated, "Let us work together for the overall good of Akwa Ibom, where we need to disagree, we do, and where we need to agree, we do so as well, where we deserve respect, we should be given.” He said his administration has made giant effort in ensuring prompt payment of workers' salaries, attracting direct foreign investment, building of superior infrastructure, even at the time of economic recession, expressing the believe that as the state marks her 30th anniversary, there will be great changes in the attitudes and focus of our people inorder to enable the state create positive impact not only in Nigeria, but the world at large. While assuring the management of comfort FM of government's patronage, the governor urged individuals and organizations to patronize the new radio station inorder to encourage the investor. In his exhortation, Rev Patrick Edet admonished well-placed persons in Akwa Ibom to consider investing in the state as the land has been healed. Edet, who drew his message from 2 Kings 2:19-22, said contrary to the experiences of the past where the state could barely boast of indigenous industries, the time was riped for people to invest in the state, stressing, Akwa Ibom indigenes should not be afraid again of bringing business ventures into the state, because the land has been healed and it is opened for business,” he affirmed. The clergyman congratulated Bob for bringing such a huge investment into Akwa Ibom and urged the people of the state to unite and support the current administration, pointing out that, there will only be one local government at a time and the only industry we have cannot be government, so we need to venture into creativity,” he admonished. The chairman of the board of Comfort FM, Bob, said the journey towards the establishment of Comfort FM started ten years ago when application for licence was submitted to the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, which he disclosed was finally granted in 2015, at a time the exchange rate had gone beyond the individual's affordability, thereby posing serious threat towards the realization of the dream and expressed happiness that the vision has materialized. He said the station which ranks 3rd in the privately owned radio stations in the state currently boast of the best facilities in broadcasting and competes favourably with its contemporaries in the business. The board chairman who thanked the governor for honouring the station's invitation to commission the project, said the governor's presence underscores the importance his administration attaches to private initiatives towards the industrialization of the state as stated in his pre-election manifesto. He also lauded the consultants and the team of engineers for making the establishment of the radio station possible, pointing out that the radio station has assembled a team of dedicated staff and skilled professionals who were ready to take the business of radio broadcasting to a higher level, as the staff strength, he added, cut across all segments of Nigeria with Akwa Ibom indigenes forming the majority. Bob also disclosed that Comfort FM was the first radio station to operate a-24 hour service and had successfully carried out a 24 hour broadcast even at the time of test transmission, and called on manufacturers and service providers to take advantage of the unique opportunity offered by the station's presence to reach out to their customers as the station's signal was well received within and outside Akwa Ibom. He said the radio station had equally procured two sophisticated outside Broadcast (OB) vans, aimed at reaching out live to all parts of the world, and cited the station's recent live coverage of the last world cup qualifying match played between Nigeria and Cameroon, pointing out that the station did not only transmit the match live from the Godswill Akpabio International Station in Uyo, but also transmitted live coverage of the return match at Yaounde, Cameroon. Bob disclosed that the station has provided direct employment to almost 50 people, in fulfilment of one of the core objectives of the current administration to providing employment to the people, adding that "this informs the reason we refused to locate the station in highly commercial areas of Lagos, Port Harcourt or even Abuja, because we wanted our people to be directly affected positively.” The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), chieftain, appealed to the state government to assist in the construction of roads within Ikot Akpan Abia Community, especially those leading to the radio station, to enable Comfort FM operate effectively, while pledging his company's readiness to meet other parts of its corporate social responsibilities. The commissioner for information and strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, said it was note worthy that Akwa Ibom was playing host to three privately-owned radio stations at a time the state was marking her 30th anniversary. Udo, who lauded the board chairman and management of the radio station for employing tested hands to man its operations, maintained, "The facilities we have here, the professionalism we have here, and the commitment has clearly sign post the fact that this promises to be a radio station with a difference that is going to break all barriers different from what others have done”, he affirmed. The commissioner noted that the media landscape in Akwa Ibom had been dominated by unwholesome practices, owing to what he described as, "continued over-dependence on government, because of the dearth of privately owned establishments”, attributing the prevalence of hate speeches and the pull him down syndrome in the state to the above listed fact. Udo, who described the inauguration of Comfort FM as one of the sign posts of the birth of a new era, said contrary to the past experiences where major enterprises were owned by non-indigenes, the state was currently playing host to her indigenous firms such as the syringe factory, which he observed was inconceivable about 30 years ago. Highlights of the event were the inauguration of Comfort 95.1 FM by the governor and the governor's live interview on the new radio station.

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