THE International Centre for Investigative Reporting (The ICIR) has concluded a three-day training program for a select group of journalists on the Open Contract Reporting Project (OCRP).
The training took place at Tahir Guest Palace, in Kano, and had journalists from the North-East and North-West zones in attendance.
The program was designed to build journalists’ capacity and enhance their skills in investigative reporting, data journalism, fact-checking, solutions journalism, the Freedom of Information Act, reporting in hostile or unsafe environments, and tracking procurement fraud, among others.
An Open Contract Reporting Fellowship participant, Mohammed Taoheed Oluwatimileyin, tweeted on his page: “ I would blame myself if am not here.”
In an interview after the training, he explained that he applied for the program to acquire the knowledge and skills to report on procurement abnormalities in public sectors across Nigeria.
The ICIR Open Contract Reporting Project is supported by the Macarthur Foundation and was organised by the Centre to equip journalists with the tools and techniques to uncover wrongdoing in government and ensure that public officials are held accountable.
The Executive Director of The ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan, highlighted the importance of the training in his opening address and stressed its significance for journalists, stating that it provides them with the necessary skills to uncover wrongdoing in government and ensure public officials are held accountable.
A university don, Prof. Abigail Obigwezzy, Head of Investigation of Daily Trust, Lami Sadiq, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) officer, Yetunde Mosunmola, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) director Jonathan Ebe, and Editor of Dubawa, Kemi Busari, were some of the trainers and mentors at the programme.
The training enhanced journalists’ investigative and data journalism skills and built their capacity to cover procurement fraud and irregularities in the public sector across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.