THISDAY Reporter, 19 Other Journalists Shortlisted for ICIR Training

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

A THISDAY reporter and 19 other journalists selected from across the country have been shortlisted to participate at the final phase of the Open Contract Reporting Project (OCRP), organised by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The OCRP is a three-year project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation under its “On-Nigeria Anti-corruption Programme”.

It is an accountability reporting project, which seeks to promote fiscal transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s budget and procurement processes.

The participants for the training which will hold in Abuja between May 1- 4, 2024, include, Blessing Ibunge (THISDAY – Rivers), Simon Enobong (The mail – Akwa Ibom), Abdulrasheed Hammad (Freelance – Sokoto), Abdumalik Lukman (Stallion Times – Kano) and Chijioke Arinze (Ripples Nigeria – Enugu).

Also listed were: Adeyemi Adekunle (Lens Africa TV – Abuja), Idris Ibrahim (WikkiTimes – Bauchi), Adam Yetunde (Freelance – Borno) and Fatola Taiwo (Osun Defender – Osun).

Others are Bello Hafsat (Premier Radio – Kano), Archibong Jeremiah (The Investigator – Cross River), Oyedeji Olanrewaju (WikkiTimes – Abuja), Isma’il Ahmad (Premier Radio – Kano) and  Bawas Ishaq (KAMED TV – Jigsaw).

Also to attend the programme are: Lawal Bolanle (Pen Press – Osun), Abe Bankole (ICIR- Abuja), Medinat Kanabe (Voice of Naija Communication – Lagos), Elom Sunday (Sahara Reporters – Anambra), Muhammad Ali (Yerwa Express News – Borno) and Oyedibu Enoch (PIJ Alance Magazine – Oyo).

In a statement signed yesterday by the Programme Officer of ICIR, Alfred Akerele, he explained that for the past seven years, the centre has worked to build the capacity for journalists to effectively investigate and report on budget and procurement issues.

He noted that this has thus strengthened open contracting processes and engendering effective service delivery for the welfare of the citizens, particularly at the sub-regional level.

He revealed that the organisation has trained over 250 journalists across different newsrooms in Nigeria and published more than 300 investigative reports holding power to account in Nigeria across different sectors.

According to Akerele, in this seventh and final year of the OCRP, the project will build capacity and provide mentoring and financial support for 20 selected journalists to work with the ICIR to undertake investigative and data-driven reports on budget and procurement issues”.

He said the ICIR is an independent, non-profit media organisation that aims to promote good governance in Nigeria through robust investigative, data-driven reporting.

“We aim to build a culture of watchdog reporting for the media in Nigeria. We achieve this by building the Investigative/Data Journalism capacity for journalists in newsrooms nationwide,” he stressed.

Akerele explained that 20 journalists were selected from different states in Nigeria in all six geopolitical zones across print, electronic and digital media.

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