ICIR/PPDC Partner To Boost Budget and Procurement Reporting in Nigeria

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The International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, Abuja, in collaboration with the Public and Private Development Centre, PPDC, is embarking on a project to build the capacity of Nigerian journalists to scrutinise budgetary and procurement issues, in order to create more transparency and accountability in the public sector.

The project, which is courtesy of a three-year grant from the Macarthur Foundation, is aimed at promoting accountability and transparency and helping in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Divided into two phases, the project would involve providing training for up to 30 (15 Abuja based and 15 from other parts of the country) Nigerian journalists over a three-year period.

Specifically, the training workshops, three in all for each cohort, which would be held in Abuja, would build participants’ skills in Investigative Journalism, Data Journalism and Infrographics, Procurement Law, Tracking and monitoring, among others.

Participating journalists will also undergo an internship with the PPDC, during which they will earn practical skills in tracking, monitoring and analysing contracts and procurement processes.

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The project will also provide funding for the journalists to work with the ICIR and appointed mentors to undertake investigative reporting projects on critical sectors of the economy, with particular focus on procurement and contracting processes.

First phase of the project scheduled to commence in April, is open to practicing journalists in print, electronic and new/digital media who are based in Abuja. Freelance reporters who are interested in Investigative Journalism can also partake in the project as long as they have a guarantee of getting their reports published in a news outlet.

Editors of newspapers would also be asked to nominate candidates for the project but nominees will have to go through a screening process to qualify.

Executive Director of the ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan, said that the primary objective of the project is to help equip journalists in Nigeria with up-to-date knowledge of Investigative Journalism as well as to help cash-strapped newsrooms to undertake critical watchdog reporting that can make government accountable to the people.

He said that the project’s focus on budgetary, procurement and contracting processes is informed by the reality that “most of the looting of government kitty is done during contracting and procurement processes.”

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“Today’s investigative journalism is driven by technology and not sweat or legwork. We want to equip journalists with knowledge and skills that would enable them properly scrutinise and report activities of government, particularly the contracting processes through which money meant for development is stolen,” Aiyetan said.

He added that the project would not only build the capacity of the journalists. “We would appoint mentors for them, provide funds and work with them to do investigative reports on critical areas,” the ICIR director noted.

Deadline for application and nomination for the training is February 28, 2017.

Interested journalists can apply on our application platform here.

About ICIR

The International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR is an independent, non-profit investigative reporting news agency which aims to use watchdog reporting to promote transparency and accountability in the public space.

The Centre’s central mission is to popularise a culture of investigative reporting across newsrooms by building the capacity of journalists to do incisive, critical reporting.

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Last year, the centre concluded the Nigerian Investigative Reporting Project, NIRP, a two year project supported by Ford Foundation which helped train more than 80 journalists in Investigative and Data Journalism.

It runs its own investigative journalism news website @ www.icirnigeria.org

About PPDC

The Public and Private Development Centre, PPDC, is a non governmental organization that advocates for open data and transparency in procurement processes in Nigeria. With its work in the last 10 years, the PPDC has become Nigeria’s most respected procurement-monitoring agency.

The PPDC seeks to increase the participation of citizens in procurement governance in a way that prevents corruption and in the last 10 years worked actively on procurement governance issues.

To enable journalists report more on procurement processes and link these to public services, PPDC uses the Budeshi platform to also empower reporters in linking expenditure to public infrastructure and services.