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IPC, NAWOJ train female journalists as change agents in 2023 polls



The International Press Centre (IPC) an NGO, in partnership with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have trained 36 female journalists on capacity building ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The training was aimed at equipping them to be change agents in Nigeria’s democratic process.

Mr Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC, stated this at the opening of a two-day training/workshop held on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

The training is a skill enhancing and capacity building/mentoring session for female journalists which were drawn from South East, South West and South South in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

The workshop is being held as part of activities under Component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN II) project, of which IPC is the lead partner.

Arogundade said the training was designed to further enhance the skills of the participants on professional, impactful, inclusive and public interest reporting of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections.

He noted that it was necessary for the media to serve as catalysts of credible elections without which democracy would not be consolidated.

He further added that the actions under the project sought to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of electoral processes in Nigeria.

“The objective is to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive reporting of the electoral processes and elections.

“Also, it seeks to position female journalists to be in the frontline for professional, inclusive, conflict sensitive, fact-checked and data driven coverage and reportage,” Arogundade said.

The IPC executive director explained that the European Union through its support for media under EU-SDGNII in the build up to the elections, expected the strengthening of media professionals’ capacity to deal with electoral misinformation/disinformation.

· “This entails enhancement of media platforms’ ability to diversify, deepen the coverage of the electoral process and deliver civic and voter education

“It also includes the improvement of media engagement in promoting women, youths and marginalised groups in politics.”

In her remarks, the President of NAWOJ, Ms Ladi Bala, urged journalists to rise to the occasion of protecting and strengthening Nigeria’s democracy in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

The NAWOJ president said that as the conscience of society, people depended heavIly on the media for the right information to help them understand, make better and more informed opinion and positive contributions toward shaping a better society.

She said that way, the society would be better served based on correct decision making and implementation of enhanced action plan.

Bala noted that with globalisation of the media space through information technology, enhancing the capacity of practitioners, particularly journalists to be in tune with global best practices had become germaine, if the media was to get it right.

According to her, the media as an integral part of society with unique and sensitive roles to play on many fronts for development, will be further enhanced with the available training and retraining of professionals

She, therefore, commended IPC and EU for investing in the development of Nigeria society and media professionals in particular.

She said: “This laudable effort of EU is commendable and a clear testament of its commitment in building a strong and virile media space that will go a long way in strengthening democracy and promote good governance.

“As we move closer to 2023, the critical role of journalists in the conduct and promotion of peaceful electoral processes in Nigeria is key and must not be handled carelessly.”

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FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets



THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.

“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.

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Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service

The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,

The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).

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DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt



The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real

DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

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