A scheduled visit from ANEEJ development partners – Bread for the World – took place from the 20th to the 23rd of February, 2017. The Bread for the World team was led by Mr. Reinhard Palm, head Africa unit, Mr. Jan Papiendieck – head of the West African unit and Mr Rainer Lang, head of the public relations and communications unit for Bread for the World. The purpose of the visit was for Bread for the World to review ANEEJ Resource Governance in Niger Delta (REGOND) /Exchange on Panama Paper Leak Projects and to open up discussions on a new projects.
DAY 1 – MEDIA WORKSHOP
In his opening remarks, Rev David Ugolor, Executive Director of ANEEJ welcomed Rainer Lang to Nigeria and other participants to the workshop. He said that the purpose of the media workshop was to develop channels between the programmes department and the communications department for effective reporting of projects to the public. The workshop was coordinated by ANEEJ communications manager Bob Etemiku who made a presentation, Media in Nigeria, Prospects and Challenges, on behalf of ANEEJ. Sixteen persons were in attendance.
First Presentation: Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku, ANEEJ Communications manager, on Media in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges for ANEEJ.
Second Presentation: Mr. Rainer Lang – Actual Changes in the Media, Especially role of Social Media.
Key points in Mr. Lang’s presentation:
- BfdW started with press releases. In 2009-2010, there were changes in the focus of media because traditional newspapers were getting information from social media.
- BfdW started considering changing their media reporting and focusing at the social media platform, reporting issues that are trending and timely
- BfdW shifted from the classical media to internet media, and this started 2 to 3 years ago. The task was given to a desk officer with different people discussing issues, making small film/documentaries about the projects and programmes of the organization and uploading it on YouTube and on BfdW homepage.
- Journalists were assigned to do short videos, take pictures along with the article, to do interviews with directors and other staff and putting it on the website. Staffs were supported by professional agencies to tell short stories (3mins-5mins) and then podcast on the website and Radio and TV use the information for their own report. This attracted about 700 people and this was the kick start of the new developmental role of twitter channels of sending out video, pictures each day. This led to the re-launch of the homepage and adapting the campaign of the organization to the internet and thinking of how to do more campaign.
- The gross media work in the organization started with modern story-telling techniques like cutting the story in pieces, linking video and pictures and working with each part separately. This technique started as a personal initiative of two people, putting small video on the web when holding seminars and other programs
- A staff was appointed to control the social media platform who was expected every morning to speak on the work of BfdW at the moment, give field back to comments raise from the public and erase comments that are very bad. This led BfdW to Facebook administrators and they linked the platform to the commercial side of it.
- Third Presentation: Media in Germany and Europe; Traditional role, how journalists are working
- There are two nationwide public TV stations with regional TV stations in Germany which are independent but are controlled by politicians and the church. There are 6 to 12 rival TV stations that are privately owned. All the newspapers are also privately owned and journalist worked independently. Attention shifted to the internet and a lot of advertisement shifted to online zines only recently. There are three big news agencies in Germany (controlled by Germane, Church/Catholic and French). The news agencies dominate the news and are also in control of the bigger newspapers.
- TECHNICAL SESSION: Several suggestions were proffered as ideas for a global networking for communication which would highlight development issues. These ideas included the following: Establishment of an online platform for journalists involved in development journalism, establishment of Community Radio, Hosting the platform in a blog, establishment of links with local communities, the Creation of podcasts, Streamline on social media, Creation of websites, Access to international news agency, Creating video messages on your homepage, Media report manual, Create standards for information for a global network/support kick off of co-creation hub.
There was a unanimous decision by the group that an online platform should be hosted on ANEEJ website, and that weekly articles so uploaded should adhere to globally accepted tenets of accuracy, credibility and objectivity. The story and article sent out should have additional information that is clear and concise.
As part of his contribution, the Rev David Ugolor called on BfdW to train one data journalist in ANEEJ who will have to step down the training for ten other members of staff for effective data gathering. It was also agreed that providing information to the platform to be access by Nigeria and globally is the first step and a meeting to be held next week for the details including the vision, mission, objectives, area of location and other modalities. The workshop ended with closing remarks from the resource person, Rainer Lang, BfdW, the Executive Director, Rev David Ugolor and the Deputy Director of ANEEJ, Leo Atakpu, they encouraged the journalists present at the workshop to spread the news.
- COURTESY VISIT TO EDO BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE
The Bread for the World team comprising its Africa Director, Reinhard Lamb and Communications Manager Reiner Lang paid a courtesy visit to the Edo State Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue Service. ANEEJ team included its Executive Director the Rev David Ugolor, deputy executive director Leo Atakpu, Manager Communications, Bob Etemiku and Communications Officer Kelly Umukoro.
ANEEJ executive director, the Rev. David Ugolor told Chief Elamah that the visit of ANEEJ and her development partners to the IRS is a product of already existing governance cooperation which ANEEJ enjoys with the Edo State government. A central reason for the visit is to firm up that relationship in the light of Edo State’s key position as the only state in Nigeria which had already keyed into the OGP tenets of open budgeting for transparency before Nigeria signed up last year 2016.
Chief Elama told his visitors that because the Edo state government is desirous of deepening its drive for inclusiveness in governance, it decided to scrap the uncoordinated tax system in Edo state, grant a general tax amnesty before re-organizing the tax regime in Edo State.
On his part, Mr. Palm thanked the chairman for opening up issues of governance to the scrutiny of her people. He said that since development partners believe that finance for development has to come from the inside of governments, issues of taxation and how the government intends to spend these monies remain critical issues. ‘ANEEJ and Edo IRS collaboration is unique and must be commended because international analysis of Nigeria’s revenue collection is often negative in the light of dwindling oil finances revenues’, Mr. Palm said.
DAY 2 – FIELD TRIPS
- OGHARA – Bread for the World Delegation – Reinhard Palm, Jan Papiendieck and Reiner Lang – visited the Ovie of Oghara Kingdom. The Rev Ugolor told the Ovie that Bread for the World supported the rally against the Nigerian Navy which grabbed land belonging to the Oghara people. The Ovie extended his appreciation for the support by the Bread fur the World and asked Bread for the World to try to extend their support for the eradication of polio in Nigeria. Mr. Reinhard told the Ovie that he appreciated the role ANEEJ played in getting the Ovie of Oghara to play a mediatory in the resolution of the land dispute between the Nigerian Navy and the people of Oghara.
- SSG TO EDO STATE GOVT – The Bread for the World team also had a Meeting with Secretary to Edo State Government, Barrister Osarodion Ogie, at government House Benin City, with ANEEJ team of the Rev David Ugolor, Leo Atakpu, and Bob Etemiku. The Rev Ugolor said that Bread for the World is interested in the creation of a Public Defenders Agency, to take care of poor Edo people who have no access to justice.
- On questions about a 13% oil derivation, administration of criminal justice system, the SSG said that the Obaseki administration had already perfected plans to institute a public defenders agency in the 2nd quarter of 2017, decongest the courts and henceforth use funds from EDSOGPADEC for the construction of rural roads so that agricultural produce can easily get to the markets.
- BENSON IDAHOSA UNIVERSITY, BIU – Both teams – the ANEEJ and Bread for the World also paid another field trip to the Benson Idahosa University, BIU, Benin City. They were received by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Sam Guobadia. The purpose of the visit was to discuss modalities for the establishment of a hub to hack new models of innovation starting with the universities. The Rev Ugolor said that ANEEJ was keen to partner with the BIU to establish the future of data as a tool for sustainable development. He suggested the establishment of a centre for good government. Both the Africa head of BfW and the DVC said that they were both amenable to the plan and would be happy to continue the discussions at later dates.
- Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, collaborated with the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Edo State organised a one-day stakeholders interactive session to discuss the prospect of promoting Nigeria’s ANEEJ and Bread for the World attended the seminar. Resource persons, Nnimmo Bassey, Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje discussed GMOs, the Nigerian Biosafety Management Act 2015 issues and concerns.
The Rev David Ugolor making a contribution during the Media Workshop