THE Centre for Journalism Innovations and Development (CJID) on Wednesday trained journalists on effective coverage of issues bordering on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF).
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The one-day training held in Abuja had in attendance journalists from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Arise Television, Humangle, Cable, Nairametrics among others.
The CJID Deputy Programme Manager Eno Mboho, in his remarks, described the training as vital to sustaining conversations on IFF.
Rather than a lone voice, Mboho, emphasised the need for more reportage from different media houses in order to stop the trend and effect the required changes in society.
Building the capacity of more journalists in reporting IFF, he added, would drive better engagements and possible prosecution of culprits.
“We have had in recent years a lot of leaks on how Nigerians hid their wealth in tax havens abroad and how they engaged in illicit financial flows, so, training journalists to understand the implications of IFF will help sustain conversations around it and hasten prosecution,” Mboho stated.
He further attributed the negative trend to increasing unemployment in the country, infrastructure deficits and failing healthcare system, hence, required urgent attention.
Reports say Nigeria loses about $15 billion to IFF annually. The ICIR earlier reported on how anti-graft agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) partnered to check the illegal act.
Meanwhile, one of the facilitators, the Managing Director of Opportunity and Risk Management Institute based in Ghana, Stella Atakpa, shared more insights on the adverse implications of illicit financial flows and the potential danger to the country.
Atakpa said having a deeper understanding would encourage journalists to not only identify the culprits but also follow the illegally acquired wealth.
She said these could be achieved by tracing friends, families and close associates of the accused persons.
“In tracking the money, you need to look out for the offender, his family, friends and associates,” Atakpa stated.
The expert, who is also a consultant to the European Union (EU) on Anti-Money Laundering, Counter Financing of Terrorism and Anti-Corruption Financial Issues spoke of the need to partner with the antigraft agencies, especially the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
She called for more awareness among the locals through partnerships with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
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