365 Days in Office: Media Stakeholders Brainstorm on Anti-Corruption as Society’s Watchdog

Media Practitioners have been called upon to beam their searchlight to expose corruption in the country by playing their role as the watchdog of the society.

This call was made in Lagos at a Media parley organised by the International Press Centre (IPC), with support of the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General, Lagos and the Media Transparency Watch Project.

The theme was “The State of Transparency and Accountability in Nigeria: Issues for Media Digest and Understanding”.

The Coordinator of International Press Institute (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade observed that the Media has a lot of work to do in order to expose corruption in Nigeria, nothing that the present Administration must be monitored in order to access its corruption campaign, while holding government accountable to meet public expectation.

According to him, “we organized this event to look at the one year anniversary of this administration and to access the state of transparency in Nigeria, as it relates to the media”.

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During an interactive session at the event, Alhaji Qasim Akinreti, a Journalist with the Voice of Nigeria, suggested that the Government must look at issues in the polity holistically in order to reduce corruption.

He recounted an experience of the failure of a contractor to fix the Ilorin-Jebba Road, the contractor was ordered by the minister of Works to come to Abuja by road.

The Road is now being fixed by the same contractor, adding that these set of people should be compelled to use the road transport system, more roads will become motorable, insisting that every contractor must account for project awarded to them.

Responding, the Chairperson National Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ) state council, Comrade Remi urge journalist come together and float media houses in order to stem the tide of businessmen, who have no interest ion the profession owning media outfits in the country.

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In his speech at the event, Mr. Eze Anaba, Deputy Editor, the Vanguard Newspaper said that an emergency must be declared on the state of corruption in Nigeria like it was done during the Ebola virus days, because many of these corrupt people are so rich now, they own everything in Nigeria, adding that the “issue of corruption must be taken seriously, we should not relent in our efforts to this end”.

He said the media should be given a bail out too, nothing that newsprints is expensive, and most media houses cannot afford to pay staff salaries, a lot of them engage the services of freelance journalists to cut costs.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Mr. Jake Effoduh noted that it is difficult to mention names of people who returned money to the Government because of the type of agreement reached with them, having that while the Government wants to recover money from these people, it also want to cut down on costs on litigation of court cases which is why it is using the Non-Conviction Base Mechanism to recover looted funds.

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Written By Stella Williams

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