There is the need to sharpen the investigative skills of Journalists to effectively use the Freedom of Information Act as a tool to facilitate transparent, free, fair and credible elections and ensure accountability of Coronavirus funds.
This, according to a statement by the Executive Director of the International Press Centre, Lagos, Nigeria, IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade, is the purpose of the organised workshop by the IPC.
The workshop, organized in partnership with Media Rights Agenda (MRA), is part of activities under Component 4b: Support to the media of the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU SDGN) Project, to sharpen the Journalists’ skills.
IPC will train 25 Journalists who are investigative reporters, political reporters, State House Correspondents and Editors drawn from the public and private Print, Broadcast and Online Media in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Edo States, on the use of FOI for investigative reporting of campaign finance and COVID-19 accountability issues from Wednesday August 5 to Thursday, August 6, 2020, in Lagos State.
According to Mr Arogundade, the workshop will feature presentations on ‘Understanding and Reporting Campaign Finance and Political Expenditure Frameworks and Issues’, by the Executive Director, OJA Development Consult, Mr Jide Ojo; ‘Using Investigative Reporting Techniques to Monitor Compliance with Campaign Finance and Political Expenditure Regulations by a Freelance Investigative Journalist, Ms. Tobore Ovuorie, and ‘Deploying the FOI Act and Other Investigative Tools/Methodologies in Reporting COVID-19 Funds in the Public Interest’ by the Executive Director, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Mr Dayo Aiyetan.
Others are: :Understanding the Key Features of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011′ by the Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, MRA, Mr Edetaen Ojo and ‘The Role of the Media in Ensuring Good Governance and Government Accountability’ by the Executive Director of IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade.
He noted that the outcome will engender interventions that will enable the Journalists to fulfill the constitutional obligation of monitoring governance and holding the Government accountable to the people.
The statement added that discussions at the workshop can be followed online using the media hashtag: #EU4DemocracyNG or @ipcng twitter, facebook and other social media channels.