Radio has become part of the life of many Nigerians despite the emergence of social media and their impact in the society. Even when people engage the social media they still fall back to radio for news, music and other entertaining programmes. There are radio stations in every part of Nigeria and people tune in to specific stations as a matter of choice. So it may be difficult to pick out what you may call best radio stations in Nigeria especially if you’re judging based on audience interest. However, there are radio stations that are very famous among the audience; and this may be due to the popularity of their On Air Personalities (AOP) or their exceptional programming; it could also be because of their location – stations in Lagos state and Abuja tend to be very popular among cross section of Nigerians within and outside these two cities. Here is a list of top 10 most popular radio stations in Nigeria;
- Cool FM
This is one of the best radio stations in Nigeria. It is very popular for its music, entertainment, sports, games, high-profile interviews and other captivating contents. This station is owned by the owner of AIMS Group, a Lebanese business man, Amin Moussalli, who also owns two other very popular radio stations – WAZOBIA FM and Nigeria Info FM. The stationed launched with Cool FM 96.9 Lagos in 1998 has since spread to other cities with very popular branches such as Cool FM 96.9 Abuja, Cool FM 96.9 Kano, and Cool FM 95.9 Port Harcourt. It is worthy to note that Cool FM has one of the most controversial On-Air Personalities (AOPs), Ifedayo Olarinde popular known as Daddy Freeze, who fame is also increasing the rating of the station.
- Beat FM
Beat FM has the unique record of being the first radio station in Africa to get verified on Twitter. It is a station loved by the youth who make up 80% of its audience. It has very interesting programmes from music to entertainment, including very engaging phone-in programmes with very popular On-Air Personalities (OAP) like Tolu Oniru popular known as Toolz, Olisa Adibua, one of the most respected radio presenters in Nigeria, and Olugbo popularly known as “Da Razor”.
- WAZOBIA FM
WAZOBIA FM holds the record of being the first Pidgin English radio station in Nigeria. On arrival, the station instantly appealed to many Nigerians across several classes – literate, illiterate, rich, poor, unemployed, working class, among others. This was because of the pidgin English “flavor” that made radio a true companion to many. The station which began with headquarters in Lagos has since spread with branches across several cities in Nigeria. It is owned by Lebanese business man, Amin Moussalli who also owns WAZOBIA FM and Nigeria Info. The FM station’s Lagos office operates on 95.1, the one in Abuja is known as Wazobia 99.5 FM, broadcasting at frequency 99.5 MHz, the one in Port Harcourt is Wazobia 94.1 FM broadcasting at frequency 94.1 MHz and lastly the one in Kano, Wazobia 95.1 FM broadcasting at frequency 95.1 MHz. The station also has an Internet radio service and they also have a TV station known as Wazobia TV. On air personalities in Wazobia includes Yaw and Lolo.
- Rhythm FM
This is another station popular among many Nigerians. It also has branches across the nation. It is described as music oriented radio station as it airs a variety of music genres ranging from R&B and Hip hop with a mix of culture and style. The radio station is owned by Silverbird Group. Rhythm FM in Lagos broadcasts at frequency 93.7 MHz, in Abuja, it broadcast at 94.7 MHz, in Port Harcourt, it broadcast at 93.7 MHz, in Akwa, it broadcast at 95.7 MHz and in Plateau, it broadcast at 93.7 MHz. One of the major reasons for its increase in ratings is the presence of very famous OAP, Toke Makinwa, whose social media present is huge and impacts on the station’s popularity.
- Brilla FM
Brilla FM enjoys the enviable achievement of being the first sport-only radio station in Nigeria. The station was founded on the 1st of October, 2002 by Larry Izamoje. Sports sells fast in Nigeria so it was not difficult for Brilla FM to immediately become a household name in Nigeria after it spread gradually to other parts of the country from Lagos. There is Brilla FM Abuja, broadcasting at frequency 88.9 MHz, Brilla FM Lagos – 88.9, Brilla FM Onitsha -88.9 and Brilla FM Kaduna – 88.9.
- Nigeria Info FM
Nigeria Info FM took the nation by storm when it began operation in October 2011 with the description of “Talk, News and Sports” station. The station’s very engaging discussion programmes immediately took it to limelight at a time when the radio industry was experiencing fierce competition. Having broken through in Lagos with 99.3 FM, the station spread to other parts of the country, with Nigeria Info 92.3 FM Port Harcourt becoming one of the most popular stations in the Southeast and South South geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The station broadcasts local and international news with a blend of talk and sports programmes. The station is owned by the owner of AIMS Group, Lebanese business man, Amin Moussalli, who also owns Cool FM and WAZOBIA FM.