The journey began when the then President Olusegun Obasanjo administration decided to bring information service closer to the grassroots so as to further bridge the communication gap between the government and the governed by way of keeping the people informed on government policies and programmes. To this end the government then decided to use the platforms of its National Information Centers, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). In the case of FRCN, the government established 32 FM stations mainly in states where there was no FRCN presence. One of such new stations was Radio Nigeria Lighthouse FM 101.5MHZ, Yola which became operational in 2003.
The Station was commissioned by the then Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Senator (Dr) Jonathan Silas Zwingina on the 24th of February, 2003, putting it on air officially. An additional name, FOMBINA, was later given to lighthouse FM Yola, to get it identified with the Adamawa paramount traditional council and to endear it to the host communities.
Present at the commissioning ceremony were the then information Minister, Prof Jerry Gana, Adamawa State Governor, Boni Haruna and his Deputy, Bello Tukur, the chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Alhaji, Ahmad Joda, Director General FRCN, Dr. Edie Iroh, His Royal Highness, Late Lamido Aliyu Mustapha, Members of the Diplomatic corps and Media chiefs, among others. Thus, Fombina FM became the 2nd FM station under FRCN to be commissioned after, Paramount FM Ogun state.
CAPACITY AND COVERAGE
Fombina FM Yola uses Broadcasting machines with the installation capacity of 20KW. At the inception, the station radiated at 18KW which covered Adamawa state, parts of Taraba, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states with clean and clear signal covering up to the northern parts of the Republic of Cameroun. It had a listenership of about 6Million people.
The station has a single building structure which houses the transmission room, two studios and seven office accommodations; aside the plant room which is separate from the main building.
ADMINISTRATION AND STAFFING
At the commissioning of the station, late Alhaji, Sulaiman Dasin was appointed as the Pioneer General Manager; with no single staff on ground in 2003. In 2004, two Engineers (Mamki Yabkwa and Moses Kefas) were posted to join the General Manager and the volunteer staff. Alhaji, Sulaiman Dasin served from 2003-2007. He handed over to Alhaji, Abubakar Audu Jimeta in Feb. 2007 who piloted the affairs of the station for just seven months. In 2008, Ms. Hussaina Bangshika took over as the General Manager of the station. The staff strength increased to 40 in 2010, Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu Dankama became the General Manager of the Station, and his tenure was brief as he was transferred back to Kaduna National Station. Alhaji Musa Waziri Hardawa then succeeded him in 2011 and handed over to Alhaji Abubakar Audu Jimeta in 2014. During his tenure, the staff strength had rose to 96 apart from volunteers and artistes. Jimeta retired from service in December, 2016 and the then General Manager of Globe FM Bauchi, Alhaji Dahiru Garba Mohammed was redeployed to Fombina FM in the same capacity. He assumed duty on 3rd January 2017.
Initially, the station had five departments – Admin and Finance, News and Current affairs, Programmes, Engineering as well as marketing. However, following series of administrative reforms in the FRCN, Fombina FM now has ten departments namely Admin, News and Current Affairs, Programmes, Engineering, Marketing, Procurement, Finance and Accounts, Internal Audit, Planning and Research, as well as ICT.
BROADCAST AND PROGRAMMES
Fombina FM Yola broadcasts it’s informative, educative and entertaining programmes in 3 major languages; English, Hausa and Fulfulde. Its strength lies in its core editorial value of independent, balanced and interesting content. As a public medium and in line with FRCN’s core mandate of “Uplifting the People and Uniting the Nation” Fombina FM Yola always put public interest first within the context of journalism ethics. This vision is pursued by successive General Managers and committed staff who strive to keep the station ahead despite operational challenges.