The Department for International Development (DFID) yesterday organised a workshop for the stakeholders including the media, civil society organizations and some other groups in the South-West.
The workshop, which was held at the Owu Crown Hotel in Ibadan, Oyo State was part of the DFID programme anchored by the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) in the South West region.
The workshop was part of the strategies to increase collaboration among the stakeholders in ensuring adequate media engagement that would increase citizens’ voice and influence policy decisions that would lead to delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.
Journalists drawn from different newspapers, radio and television stations as well as the new media platforms in the South-West state, participated in the workshop.
Members of the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Center, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria and the Ogun Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture were among the participants at the workshop.
The Regional Team Leader of PERL, Mr Adewale Agbojo said the media, civil society groups and other stakeholders must work together and engage the policy makers on service delivery for the betterment of the society.
According to him, the essence of the workshop was to broker relationship and provide linkages amongst pro-change traditional and social media persons, organisations and platforms, as well as other players and being engaged by PERL for more productive engagement that would promote good governance.
Also, PERL Regional Reform Facilitator, Mrs Chika Uwadi said the objective of the workshop was to intimate identified traditional and social media platforms, organisations and individuals on the need to serve as channels for amplifying citizens’ voice for influencing policy and improving service delivery.
While speaking, the Regional Partnership Facilitator of PERL said the workshop was designed to facilitate the development of work-plan amongst the media and partners for continuous discourse in the civic space that would influence governance decisions.
Speaking during the workshop, Dr Festus Adedayo, a member of the editorial board of the Nigerian Tribune newspaper, said the media was no longer playing its roles as it did during the era of military dictatorship in the country and that the media was standing akimbo now under democracy.
“Newspapers in Nigeria are no longer ideological and the economy is also not helping matters, while ownership issue is also another serious factor inhibiting the media from playing its roles. The situation is frustrating and dispiriting and demands immediate solutions.”
Adedayo also lamented the problem of quackery in the journalism profession and the lack of professionalism among the practitioners. He urged the media to be alive to its responsibility and play its roles well for the betterment of the society.