Kaduna: Rural Dwellers Now Read News On The Internet
KURMIN KADUNA, NIGERIA – Al’amin Yakubu, a young father of three and a farmer, lives in Kurmin Kaduna, a rural community located in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria. He is the only member of his family to complete secondary school education before venturing into farming.
Kurmin Kaduna, Al’amin’s village lacks social amenities such as access to good motorable road, clean potable water, electricity, a secondary school, and healthcare facility.
For the people in this community, which is about 25 kilometers from Kaduna metropolis, life has not been easy because of the absence of these basic amenities. During the rainy season, the major road linking them with neighboring communities usually get flooded.
Kurmin Kaduna like other rural communities is faced with the challenge of having instant access to current affairs and information about happenings around the central city.
Despite the fact that Kaduna State has about six radio stations and Television – both private and government-owned – yet their signals do not reach the remote communities, thus denying people living in those areas access to information about government policies, etc.
Majority of the households don’t even have money to pay for a copy of Newspaper because circulation never gets to such areas. In fact, the only source of information for the elders in such communities are foreign radio stations like Hausa BBC, Voice of America Hausa and DW Hausa radio.
But thanks to the internet today, Youths and other educated people living in such remote villages across the state, depend on the internet to read Newspapers published in both English or Hausa language as source of information.
Even though some of these remote communities still face the challenge of lack of strong internet connectivity, youths like Al’amin manage to browse through social media to get informed and connect with other users from other parts of the country.
Al’amin explained, “As you can see this is a remote village and majority of the houses are without electricity. Only a few people are doing business using generators as a source of power.
“Our houses are without television even the radio the signal is not strong enough because sometimes we don’t get a signal here. Newspapers circulation never reached us. So, our people usually miss a lot of information but for the advent of the internet.
“Today few of the youths in this community use phones with internet connectivity. Now, we can read Newspapers online through the internet even though the service too sometimes goes off but it’s still better as we depend on it as a news source, ” he said.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) estimates that Nigeria has about as 91.6 million internet users. The NCC made this disclosure in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for June 2017 on its website. According to the data released, internet users increased to 91,598,757 in June as against 91,565,010 users recorded in May 2017, showing an increase of 33,747.
Al’amin said he listened to foreign radio stations like BBC Hausa Service and follow their Facebook page. He also reads news stories online published online by other local Newspapers.
“Most of the youths in this village that finished their secondary school use social media such as Facebook and Whatsapp,” he said.
Magayaki Audu who lives in a remote village named Agwung in Kwoi, Jaba local government area said their only source of information too is the internet.
“For some of us that read and write and live in the village our source of information is the internet. Yes, the Mobile network is very bad here, but we still browse to reads the global news.
“Some of our people even climb mountains to search for a network to make calls and even browse. Our appeal is for the service providers to come to our aid and provide us with a mast that will enhance our internet connectivity,” he said.
Aliyu Sulaiman lives in Rigasa community of Igabi LGA and has been accessing the news through the internet for a year.
“We are lucky to have a strong Internet connectivity in my community. I browse even while in the farm. In fact, the internet has gone far and is helping our people living in remote villages, ” he said.
Abdullahi is a resident of Hayin Dan mani, and like Al’amin he only follows the BBC Hausa Service on Facebook as well as watch videos on YouTube.