COMBATING CRUDE OIL THEFT IN OIL BEARING COMMUNITIES OF SOUTHERN IJAW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNITY RADIO
Keywords:Crude Oil, Theft, Community Radio
The study examines the use of community radio in combating oil theft in oil bearing communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The rationale behind the study is to find out the role community radio plays in evoking attitudinal change towards combating oil theft and vandalism. The objectives of the study are to ascertain the source of information and education on oil theft and vandalism in the oil bearing communities, find out the communities perception of the state and private owned radio stations programmes and their impact on the audience and find out the communities opinion on the role of community radio in the fight against oil theft in oil bearing communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The study adopted a survey research design with the questionnaire as the instrument of data collection with a research population of 462,517; and used the Taro Yemane’s formula to arrive at a sample size of 400 made up of adult male and female in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The multi-stage sampling technique was used for the study. The study was underpinned by the Democratic Participant Theory. Findings from the study shows that state and private owned radio stations do not have programmes dedicated to discussing issues about oil theft. Further findings indicated that programmes are not aired in the native language of the respondents’ on state and private owned radio and that respondents’ find it difficult to understand the language used in broadcasting by the radio stations. The study however revealed that community radio station can provide information and education to the locals through creation and presentation of programmes on oil theft and vandalism in the native language of the people. The study also revealed that through community radio, locals can be well informed on how to notify and report cases of oil theft and vandalism to the appropriate authority. Additional finding revealed that community radio can enable stakeholders, regulatory agencies, law enforcement agencies, etc, to communicate with locals, get feedback and evoke the desired attitudinal change. The paper therefore concludes that the establishment of community radio in these communities is apt and has become a child of necessity. It therefore recommends among others, to encourage the establishment of community radio, government should reduce the cost of operational license so that communities can afford them and that oil bearing communities should set aside funds to run their community radio stations from the 3 percent of companies operational cost that would be granted to the communities as contained in section 257 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).