Diamond FM is the 3rd community radio station in Nigeria after Unilag FM and Unizik FM.
The initiative that produced the radio station emanated from a discussion between the acting Head of Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development [Dr. A. A. Ladele] and Dr. M. K. Yahaya, in 2005 on the need to adopt the briefcase radio facility as a tool to disseminate improved farm technologies to farmers within the catchment of the University. It was immediately reasoned that a more robust facility for the use of the entire University would suffice.
Effort to this end was made by Dr F.K. Sanwo of the Department of Forest Resources Management (who later relocated to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State). He submitted a proposal for a Campus Radio Station in 1984 but it did not come to reality. In 1988, Dr Matthew Umukoro of the Department of Theatre Arts also made another attempt that successful owing to lack of fund, hence, It was then thought that radio can indeed assist in checking incessant students’ unrest on campus.
Professor Ayo Falase gave a nod to the proposal from the acting Head of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development requesting the him to constitute a committee to come up with a detailed proposal with the cost implications. The call to various Department/Unit Heads for representatives gave rise to the UI Community Radio Project Committee. This committee worked assiduously to put together a realistic proposal. The radio project implementation however did not commence before Professor Ayo Falase completed his term as Vice Chancellor. During Professor Olufemi Bamiro’s tenure as Vice Chancellor, the project progressed rapidly due to his keen interest in the project. With the engagement of Sound Broadcast Communications under the leadership of Engineer S. Friday Aizeboje, the radio project was completed in July 2008, ready for test transmission.
The radio station was designed to be students friendly, volunteers-driven, inclusive and interactive by providing opportunities for members of the university community to share knowledge, ideas and expertise relating to the University of Ibadan. The name, logo and call phrase of the radio station were sourced competitively through invitation widely advertized in the University Bulletin. A final-year student’s Segun Michael entry from the Department of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Education won the prize for the station’s name and Mr. Sambo Mohammed – a staff of Registry, for the call-phrase.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the University, the station was named “Diamond FM” with the call phrase “promoting values and excellence”.
The station came up with the mission statement “to position itself powerfully in the University community and its immediate environ and to make positive impacts for the good of all”.
Diamond FM was formally commissioned at a colourful ceremony on 30th of October, 2008 by the Chief Servant and Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Muazu Babangida Aliyu. The Chairman for the occasion was Prof. Olufemi Adebisi Bamiro, Vice Chancellor of the University then. Before the commissioning, there was a 10-week period of test transmission run mainly with three voices – Obafemi Folorunso, a member of the installation team and two Youth Corps members – Fola Folayan (female) and Olanrewaju Bright Kolade (male).
Below is the list of the 16-member UI Radio implementation committee that worked vigorously to establish the University Radio:
Two years after the opening of the station, the Committee was dissolved by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. O. A. Bamiro and a Board instituted for the Radio Station was established with membership as follows:
The pioneer Director of the Radio Station was Dr. Louisa Bassey Andah of the Department of Communication and Language Arts in the University and member of the Radio Implementation Committee. Mrs. Andah was initially appointed Station Coordinator with effect from 01/11/2008. This position was later re-designated to another Director with effect from 01/09/10. The Station started with some Ad-hoc staff namely: Obafemi Folorunso, the Technical Officer, Emmanuel Idubor, the Station Assistant and Foluke Falayi, a Trainee Announcer. Later, a regular Senior Staff, Paul-Anthony Emokhare was employed as the Programmes Officer. The number of regular staff has since grown to include the station driver - Mr. Lateef G. Omoowo, Station Secretary - Mr. Akintayo W. Ganiyu and the Station Engineer – Mr. Babajide Ajibade. Others are Mr. Kunle Adesope and Mr. Jeleel Bakare as Studio Officers and Mr. Eyitayo Folorunso as Presenter/Announcer. Mrs. Foluke Owolabi's appointment as Presenter/Announcer was also regularized.
The student volunteers who worked as Duty Continuity Announcers (DCAs) and Presenters were Michael Oguntolu, Tope Kolawole (Masters student), Mercy Chime, Ibukun Babatunde, Tolu Oluwafemi, Damian Adegoke, Tari Karunwi and Paul Kolawole now Gbenga Kolawole. The first live coverage of the University Convocation ceremony after the station’s establishment was anchored in English by the duo of Dr. Yinka Laninhun and Louisa Andah as well as Ibukun Babatunde and Paul Kolawole – both volunteer/trainee presenters for outside broadcast (OB) assignments in English and Yoruba respectively. This first set of volunteers were soon joined by Tobi Alake, Joseph Edah (Masters student), Pat Obilor, Theophilus Elamah, Charles Eromosele and Hamid Adediran (both medical students) and Eyitayo Folorunso also a Masters student and who is now one of the regular staff in the station. Other volunteers came in as programme producers and studio assistants. The first set of studio assistants were Anu Keshinro and Bashirat Ogunjobi who later became programme producers and presenters. Others were Felicia Oloruntoba, Aina Samuel, James Akinola, Tope Ajayeoba, Mrs Margaret Adedeji and John Ibanga (Masters student). The first volunteer freelance producer-presenters were Ishaq Adeboye and Tunji Ajibade.
Youth Corps members and Industrial Training students functioning in different capacities also worked at the Station. The very first set of Corps members in the station were Folasade Faseun, Mibiola Ayokunle, Bisi Ibikunle and Mojisola Bolarinwa whose baby was labeled ‘the first Diamond baby staff’. The first Industrial Training (IT) students were Abiola Akinrinola and Kemi Aderinto. The pioneer station cleaner was a woman generally called Mama Ibo who did not stay long and was replaced by Madam Bose Adekunle.
Many volunteers continue to join and exit as new sessions come and go and auditions hold twice a year as and when announced. Now in its 4th year of existence, the Station has held two key programmes to mark its 1st and 2nd anniversaries. The first anniversary with the theme ‘DIAMOND RADIO, JEWEL IN THE IVORY TOWER’ was held to create an awareness for the members of the community about the presence of the Radio Station and its importance and relevance. To mark this occasion, a public lecture titled ‘The community radio imperative in UI’ was delivered on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2009 by Prof. Joel Adeyanju of the University of Ife. Venue was the Trenchard Hall. The occasion was very well attended with many dignitaries including the Deputy Vice Chancellor DVC (Administration) Prof. Elijah Bamgboye. Chairman of the occasion was the Vice – Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro FNSE, FAS. Father of the day was the Olubadan of Ibandan-land represented by Senator Lekan Alabi.
The 2nd anniversary was marked on Monday, 29th November, 2010 with the flag-off of a 200 bicycle eco-friendly transport project tagged ‘Ride-a-Bicycle-on-Campus’, an initiative of Dr. Andah. A University Bicycle Committee was set up by the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole with membership comprising:
A re-launch on 11 August, 2011 by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac F. Adewole set the project in full motion. The project which was fully sponsored by the University also received initial take-off support from Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) as well as 7-UP Bottling Company. The Diamond FM Bicycle Working Committee membership included:
In June 2010, the Station collaborated with the BBC African Service for the coverage of the Ibadan arm of her West African Sensitization Tour for the flag-off of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. At Present, the Station has international programming partnership agreements with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Radio Netherlands and Deutche Welle.
The Station is about 92% volunteer-driven. Transmission is 8.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. (12 hours daily, 84 hours weekly, 2 shifts a day.)
Distance Learning Programmes – 16 - 18 hours weekly (21%)
Domestic Productions + News – 59%
Foreign/External Programmes – 20%
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the University established an IT & MS Unit as an umbrella body thus merging the radio station with other media services and IT units in the community. Headed by Dr. A. S. O. Ogunjuyigbe as Acting Director. The Chairperson of the IT Board is Prof. (Mrs.) Nike Osofisan. There are four directorates namely Management Information System (MIS), IT Hardware & Infrastructure, Training and Research as well as the University Media Centre headed by Dr. Sola Olorunyomi. With the merger, both Dr. Sola Olorunyomi and Dr. Louisa Andah ceased to be directors of UMC and Diamond Radio respectively. Each of the four departments is now headed by an Assistant Director. Diamond Radio which is joined with the University Media Centre has Mr. Ropo Ewenla as the Assistant Director.