Held on the 28th of November, 2020 Virtually
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support of MacArthur Foundation had on the 28th of November, 2020 as part of its Anti-Corruption and Accountability Project in Nigeria organized a one day virtual workshop to online Journalists on Writing for Accountability and Anti-Corruption Issues in Nigeria. The essence of organizing the workshop was to deepen the understanding of the journalists on accountability and anti-corruption issues and shift their attention to writing on the subject matter. The workshop also aimed to enhance the Understanding of the Dimensions of Accountability and Corruption, Sensitize the Journalists to Pay Attention to Issues of Accountability and Anticorruption in their Contents and Enlist Online Journalists to improve their Contribution in Exposing Corruption and Impunity through their Platforms.
Media being one of the pillars of democracy and institution that hold government accountable and report on issues that affect the lives of the ordinary citizens, CITAD found them to be partners in fighting corruption in the country. However, as the world of journalism is shifting to an online one globally and many of the traditional media are losing their readers and listeners, so the attention of organizations, governments and individuals most especially in the developing nations is shifting towards online journalists. This bring the need for organizations to focus on training and sensitizing these journalists on pressing issues that are crippling the economy and development of developing countries i.e. corruption.
At the workshop, experts in the area of Anti-Corruption and Accountability, Public Procurements and Human Rights enlightened the participants about the importance of writing on anti-corruption and accountability issues in their platforms. Dr. Jide Ojo, a Writer, Journalist and Development Consultant discussed on Corruption: Theoretical and Definitional Discuss. Dr. Ojo took the participants through the Definitions, Concept and Impact of Corruption on Good Governance. The second speaker, Dr. Aminu Hayatu, a Lecturer with Department of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano (BUK) discussed on Understanding the Many Dimension of Accountability. In his discussion, Dr. Hayatu emphasized on how to hold government officials accountable, Issue of Ethics and Legality for Journalists and how Journalists will avoid Writing Fake News. While Dr. Chris Kwaja from Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola discussed on Human Rights Abuses as Corruption. Dr. Kwaja focused on the Relationship between Human Rights Abuses and Corruption, he explained to the participants how journalists are everyday being abused in the course of their duty by security agents and how those abuses are being categorized as corruption because in many occasions it led to suppressing of truth and denied the journalists the right to report things as they are. And finally, Dr. Aminu Aliyu of the Economics Department, BUK dwelled on how journalists will know if there is Corruption in a Project. In his presentation, Dr. Aliyu mentioned some elements that can help to understand whether there is corruption in a project like the Size of the Project, Uniqueness and Complexity of the Project, Public Sector Projects, Project with Several Sub-Contractors, Culture of Secrecy, lack of Transparency and due Diligence and High Cost of Integrity.
On his remarks at the workshop, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, Engineer Y.Z Ya’u who was represented by the Programmes Coordinator, Ibrahim Nuhu stated that CITAD has for long being working with journalists to ensure transparency and accountability in the public sector and this particular workshop is unique looking at the nature of the participants who are mostly young people with passion to make change in the society. He urged the online journalists to use their platforms for promoting good governance in the country and not allowed themselves to be used by the politicians to suppress truth.