#ICIRat10: ICIR Executive Director urges EFCC, others to partner media in anti-corruption campaign

THE Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Dayo Aiyetan has advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti-graft agencies to partner the media in the campaign against corruption. 

Aiyetan, who is also the founder of The ICIR – a non-profit investigative media platform, said anti-graft and security agencies must see the media as a committed partner in order to win the fight against corruption in the country.

He spoke at a media sustainability conference held to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of The ICIR in Abuja on Wednesday.

Aiyetan expressed concerns over unwarranted harassment by some security outfits, mostly arising from investigations by The ICIR which unraveled corruption in some government agencies.

According to him, such hostile attitude towards the media was not necessary if the security and the financial regulatory agencies are to win the anti-corruption fight.

“It is disturbing when a report is done about a government agency, and the next thing is you get a call from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and even the State Security Service (SSS) harassing you. This is not good.

“We call on the government to work with the media if it is serious in the fight against corruption,” Aiyetan said.

Going down memory lane, Aiyetan noted that the journey in the past 10 years has been rough but also fulfilling.

“We started the journey with Kevwe Uchechukwu and myself. Just two of us. We started in the office of the African Centre for Media Literacy (AFRICMIL) led by Chido Onumah. At a point payment for the space was a challenge.

“We thank God for today The ICIR has grown from staff strength of two to over 40.”

Aiyetan said the success recorded by the organisation would not have been possible without the support of donor agencies.

He, however, noted that the organisation is making efforts to deepen its sustainability strategy beyond donor funding.

The Executive Director stressed that The ICIR was determined to build a culture of investigative reporting in Nigeria.

    “We do that by building capacity in different newsrooms. We have been able to increase investigative reportage in Nigeria in the last 10 years,” he said.

    He stressed that the mission of the investigative platform is to advance a culture of critical media reporting in Nigeria.

    Speaking on the future of the media industry in Nigeria, Aiyetan said there must be a national conversation on the issue, noting that without sustainable funding, it will be difficult to grow media business in Nigeria.

    He also commended the efforts of The Cable, The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Reporting, Sahara Reporters, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, Institute of War and Peace Reporting and civil society organisations who complement the efforts of The ICIR in growing the Nigerian democratic space.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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