The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalism (NGIJ) has concluded plans to host its maiden Investigative Journalism seminar for members nationwide.
In a statement signed by its National Vice President, Information and Strategy, Israel Bolaji-Gbadamosi, NGIJ National President, Ayoyemi Mojoyinola said the maiden two-day seminar scheduled to hold in Lagos on April 30th and May 1 was aimed at providing a robust refresher course for NGIJ members to enhance their performances and efficiency in Investigative Journalism especially in view of the prevailing challenges of modern-day journalism in Nigeria.
Mojoyinola said, “The need for training and retraining can not be over emphasised especially in the 21st century which is largely driven by the knowledge economy.
“Our nation is currently faced with myriad challenges of leadership, corruption, weak economy and insecurity.
“Investigative journalism has become quite relevant and critically required more than ever as the need for public equity, accountability, transparency and good governance is so earnestly desired by the nation.
Bolaji-Gbadamosi added that “Given the challenges of the times, NGIJ’s resolve to continually equip members across the nation with relevant skills, and acquaint them with modern trends, tools and techniques for enhanced and effective performance is further demonstrated through this upcoming seminar.
He remarked that the seminar which was being organised in collaboration with Journalism in Nigeria JNG will feature various experts including Fisayo Soyombo, Multiple Award winning Investigative Journalist, Emmanuel Osideko of LASPOTECH, Oba Adeoye, Former Director, News & Programmes, LTV; Ohi Odaia, Director of News,
ARISE NEWS TV; Dapo Daramola of Prima Garnet Group, Barrister Ayo Odukale and others who will anchor various sessions in compliance with the Covid-19 protocols.
With the recent rise in the clamour for restructuring and regional self-determination, Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that these concerns are legitimate, but believe that the country’s current difficulties are transient and can be resolved through active engagement of all stakeholders.
He also stated that these concerns can only be tackled successfully if Nigerians stand United as one nation in spite of all challenges.
According to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s Media Office, on Friday, March 26, 2021, said Amaechi stated this while delivering the 34th Convocation Lecture of the University of Calabar, titled ‘Beyond our Imperfect Union: The National Question and Nigeria’s Future.’
“In recent days, we have begun to hear loud voices of disunity from various sections of the country. In response to current economic difficulties and the problem of insecurity, some have insisted on the now-familiar argument for restructuring the federation. Others have advocated increased regional autonomy. Some extremists are calling for the secession of parts of the country from the federation. None of these divisive options would serve the urgent needs of this nation or the long-term aspiration of all our people for a better life in a happier nation.
“Let me say without any fear that the concerns being raised by Nigerians about the future of our country are legitimate. They are indications of great patriotism and love. We all treasure this country and are anxious that it transforms into a better place for all of us. This overwhelming wish for a better Nigeria far outweighs the doomsday predictions of a few pessimists.”
He added that ethnicity and class, poverty, and inequality are a major part of the problem, describing poverty as one of the greatest threats to the country’s national unity and survival.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state that the desperate poverty that we have today has its roots in dispensations that came before the Buhari administration. Specifically, our epidemic of mass poverty dates back to the return of civil rule in our country. It is unfair to heap the responsibility for the prevalence of poverty and inequality on this or anyone administration in the history of the country.
“I have a personal conviction that of all the challenges facing our nation’s actualization, none is more urgent than the scourge of increasing poverty and the threat of massive inequality. We must attack and conquer inequality and extreme poverty or the poor will overrun Nigeria.
“Let us take the threat of mass poverty seriously and elevate inequality to the status of a perennial national emergency in the years ahead. Nearly all the troubles that confront us as a nation can be traced to either direct poverty or the fear that the ogre of poverty could rise one day to devour the fortunes of the rich and prosperous.
“I believe that the destiny of Nigeria can only be best actualized in the context of one indivisible and united nation. What is required is for us to continue to work towards a nation in which the doors of opportunity are open to all our citizens irrespective of ethnicity, creed, class, or circumstance.
Amaechi noted that tackling insecurity and criminality must also be on the front burner to avoid an escalation leading to un-governability. He also cautioned the political elite on actions that contribute to insecurity in the nation.
“I agree with those patriotic voices who have cautioned that we need to do everything to arrest the general drift towards un-governability and state failure.
“Nigeria should not queue up behind nations that have allowed these nascent forces to threaten their very existence or overwhelm them. We should instead face up to the challenges with a maximum will. It is in this context that we need to appreciate the valiant efforts being made by the Buhari administration to ensure our national survival through the restoration of security, rehabilitation and expansion of national infrastructure, and the alleviation of desperate poverty.
“Challenges like Boko Haram, sporadic terrorism, banditry, and other insurgent flare-ups are active national defence challenges of a grave strategic and military nature that have continued to engage the energies of the military. I believe that with time, these challenges will be overcome by the undisputed and tested professionalism of our military.
“On the other hand, we now have a plethora of criminal infractions ranging from transactional kidnapping and mass school abductions, armed robbery, cultism, rape, and urban gang warfare. I believe that the correct cure to criminality is stout law enforcement and crime-fighting predicated on accurate intelligence and interdiction.
“We must not fail to recognize the responsibility of our elite in creating the problem of insecurity that we are facing today. In many parts of the country, the political elite failed in their responsibility to educate the majority of children of the lower classes. These children who were denied the right to education and a better life have grown up to find themselves with no other choice than to enroll in criminal undertakings such as banditry and terrorism.
“Politics has become weaponized in the sense that desperate political actors now patronize armed gangs of criminal thugs for political purposes. Hate as an instrument of political mobilization has been enhanced by the emergence of social media as a force of public opinion and information deployment. Taken together, these pressures and developments have tasked the security of the state almost to breaking point.
“In times of desperate social and economic challenges, identity politics resurfaces in ferocious ways. This is why we now have these calls for restructuring backed by increasingly militant regional and ethnic nationalism. The rhetoric of anger usually drips of hate and divisiveness. The politics of desperation plays up ethnic, regional, religious, and other primordial instincts to advance its cause. This, in my view, is the background to the current wave of insecurity, hate rhetoric, and divisive politicking in the nation.
Amaechi also stated that in answering or resolving the national question, politics, leadership, and governance in the real sense of it must also be prioritised.
“Our quest for the final resolution of the National Question in Nigeria must lead through political leadership predicated on the best traditions of democracy. Our democracy may not have attained perfection yet. Our union as a nation may not have become perfect as yet. But some progress has been made. Since 1999, we have maintained democratic elections and transited from one set of democratic dispensations to successor ones. We have managed to observe the rituals of periodic electioneering and gone through the motions of judicial arbitration in matters of inconclusive elections.
“But our politics has remained mired in impressions and personality cults rather than issues. The purchase of the popular mandate at huge price tags has rendered our political contests into transactions and some of the most expensive in the world. “Our political contests have often assumed the mode of limited warfare. The result has been to increase the heat in the polity and worsen the crisis of the National Question in the country. Even after the resolution of specific electoral outcomes, we have often ended up more divided along ethnic, religious, and partisan lines.
“To alleviate this crisis, we need to quickly replace the politics of impressions and personalities with the politics of issues and ideas. We must seek common ground on broad national issues on a bipartisan basis, not on the basis of personalities or geo-political zones, tribes, or factions. The common ground must be based on a dispassionate grasp of national problems: how do we educate our children, heal the sick, give hope to those in despair, provide succor to the needy and find work for the unemployed? How do we build infrastructure that will quickly transform and modernize our economy for the good of all Nigerians?
“Above all else, we must give justice to all our citizens who seek justice and feel left out in a land they call home. We must give meaning to democracy so that every Nigerian can find a place and a voice in a land of free men and women. We must deploy our diversity to increase our strength. We must make our streets and highways, and now forests and farmlands, safe again for all Nigerians to fulfill their individual dreams of a good life so that, together, we can actualize the manifest destiny of this blessed land.
He admonished Nigerians and aspiring leaders on the need for government to function in a continuum, especially toeing the developmental path of the President Buhari administration, that has set the motion for growth in the right direction for effective handling of the nation’s challenges, citing advanced nations still on the path of nation-building, faced with similar challenges and still trying to address the national question.
“The passage of time does not make nations outgrow the complications of the National Question in their origins and development. The contradictions of the origin of nations return ever so frequently to haunt them in the present as the identities of its component nationalities come to the fore. More importantly, even the best nations are constantly re-examining and fine-tuning their sense of nationhood if only to avoid having to deal with the National Question as a perennial headache.
“Even today in 2021, the United States is battling with the forces of racism and injustice against blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and other minorities. These groups may not exactly be tribes and ethnic nationalities the way we know them here. But each constitutes an identity block that makes up the diversity of the American nation.
“Even a nation as relatively homogenous as China is still wracked by charges of discrimination against the ethnic Uighurs and Tibetans. It still has to deal with the interests and conflicting politics, economics, and social tension of managing to integrate both Hong Kong and Taiwan as sub-sovereign parts of the larger Chinese national reality.
“Similarly, the United Kingdom, even in the post-Brexit era, has had to deal with the pressure of Scottish and Irish nationalism both of which continue to exert great pressure on the nationhood of the United Kingdom. Each of them is demanding and securing considerable autonomy and sub sovereignty from the authority of Westminster. As late as 2019 and 2020, Spain had to deal with the separatist forces of Catalonia, actively seeking independence from Spain. Continental Europe has a list of over a dozen separatist and nationalist movements of different strengths pressuring the known nations of Europe for either outright self-determination or increased sub-national autonomy and petty sovereignty.
“Russia is today still troubled by the aspirations of the former Soviet republics who regained sovereign status after the demise of the former Soviet Union. The recent travails of Ukraine and Georgia in the hands of Russia have occupied global attention in recent times as both have come under military assault from Russia over conflicting claims of national space and issues of identity.
“We must acknowledge that no single administration solves all the problems of any nation. National development is an incremental and cumulative process. It would be unfair for our elite and aspiring leaders to expect President Buhari to eliminate all the accumulated burdens and contradictions of the National Question in Nigeria. I believe that our current difficulties are transient and can be resolved through an active engagement of all our stakeholders,” Amaechi said.
The Minister further played up infrastructural development as one of the ways the Buhari administration is using to tackle the deficiencies in nation-building as well as social welfare schemes targeted at poverty reduction, including increased efforts in curbing insecurity. He added that no one administration can completely achieve all of this and hoped that successive governments would put even more efforts in nation-building, as the government is a continuum.
He said, “The Buhari administration has correctly identified increasing poverty and inequality as one of the major impediments to national development. The President has committed himself and the administration to migrating at least 10 million Nigerians from abject poverty in the shortest possible time. I believe that the various ongoing social welfare schemes of the administration will ensure the achievement of this objective and that successor administrations will take on the mantle of poverty reduction as a cardinal objective of state policy.
“In the railway sector where I am currently engaged, we have embarked on what is easily the most ambitious and expansive railway rehabilitation and expansion programme in the history of Nigeria. From Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, from Ibadan to Kano, we are renewing Lugard era standard gauge railway lines that have been out of effective service for decades. We are putting new coaches on these renewed tracks and rebuilding the stations that have been abandoned for so long.
“On heavy transit and economically active routes like Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, and Itakpe to Ajaokuta, we have completed new standard gauge tracks and placed modern air-conditioned coaches on them to take Nigerians to the places of their hearts’ desires. New railway projects to link Kano with Maradi in Niger Republic will enhance inter-African economic integration and sub-regional trade. Similarly, the planned rail link between Lagos and Calabar will open up hitherto untraveled coastal terrains along Nigeria’s Atlantic Seaboard to unleash the resources and energies that have been lying virgin for centuries.
“President Buhari’s objective and vision in the new wave of railway development is to enhance the quick movement of our citizens from one part of the country to the other to increase the pace of national integration and social mobility. The free movement of persons, services, and other factors of economic production across the national space will accelerate the settling of extant National Question issues of unity and integration of cultures and resources.
Crown University Intl. Chartered Inc. Has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding, MoU, with the University of Kara, Togo, on the 8 January 2021, at the Univerisity of Kara, Kara City, Republic of Togo.
At the signing ceremony in Kara city of Togo,
Crown University Intl. Chartered Inc. Which was represented by its Vice-Chancellor, H E UNESCO Laureate Prof Sir Bashiru Aremu (World Acclaimed Distinguished Professor Emeritus ratified by UNESCO top up by UNN Nigeria CSER Malaysia MPRH Institute Iran, WCU USA ICERE Argentina South America and others worldwide) while Prof. Komla Sanda, the Vice-Chancellor University of Kara, Togo resolved and signed an MoU establishing a partnership for “Credit Transfer, Reciprocal Arrangement training and research at all level of studies”.
H E UNESCO Laureate Prof Sir Bashiru Aremu (World Acclaimed Distinguished Professor Emeritus ratified by UNESCO top up by UNN Nigeria CSER Malaysia MPRH Institute Iran WCU USA ICERE Argentina South America and others worldwide) in a release to journalists today noted that the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed by both reputable tertiary Institutions on Credit Transfer, Reciprocal Arrangement Training and Research at all level of studies is aimed at
articulating the conditions for the partnership.
“Areas In the context of this Memorandum of Understanding, the word “Partnership” shall apply to all activities arranged and carried out by common agreement between the Crown University Intl. Chartered Inc. And the University of Kara, Togo for the mutual benefit of both parties.
The partnership shall include the following aspects, training for capacity building in identified areas of special need such as:
Humanities, Arts, Technologies, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, Pure and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Management Sciences, and other related courses as well”, he said.
Stating further, he said, there shall be reciprocal/dual certifications and top-up degree arrangements between the University of Kara, Togo on undergraduate and graduate programs on a credit transfer-based criterion established by the University of Kara, Togo
“The exchange of staff and students for training and research or other assignments as the case may be; The joint organization of research projects, seminars, workshop, international conference, and colloquia and other training sessions likely to strengthen both Universities.
“Students from Crown University Intl. Chartered Inc. Must meet all other admission and transfer criteria documented in the then-current University of Kara, Togo catalog.
“Developing mutual consultancy and support activities for the advancement of teaching and research; ‘The use of laboratories, classroom space, and other research facilities.
All Crown University Intl Chartered Inc. students who are studying in the areas of Humanities, Arts, Technologies, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, Pure and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Management Sciences and other related courses as well complete their programs at the University of Kara, Togo, shall receive a degree as a dual degree or top-up degrees based on the articulation agreement established between both parties. Development of curriculum, manuals, and other documents for; improving and streamlining procedures and practices and the same thing applied to the University of Kara, Togo depends on available courses and the choice of the students of the parties. Establishing further forms of cooperation in all fields of studies for mutual interest”.
H E UNESCO Laureate Prof Sir Bashiru Aremu (World Acclaimed Distinguished Professor Emeritus ratified by UNESCO top up by UNN Nigeria CSER Malaysia MPRH Institute Iran WCU USA ICERE Argentina South America and others worldwide) also disclosed series of obligations entailed in the MoU for both institutions.
According to him, he stated that both Universities shall therefore undertake to Pursue regular exchange of their respective practices and methods in training and research and other fields of common interest; Intensify discussion between their staffs to look for solutions to the problems of either or both parties; Deploy all necessary efforts to ensure funding of activities from the partnership.
Concerning the implementations of the objectives of the signed MoU, he pointed out that Financial resources and materials shall be provided by both parties to look for solutions to its problems or to train its staff. The two parties agreed to organize annual consultative meetings using appropriate technology to aim at appraising the implementation of this partnership, monitoring activities being carried out, and at planning future activities. “Extraordinary meetings may be convened at the initiative of one of the parties to treat issues that need urgent solutions. Crown University Intl Chartered Inc. Shall pay any tuition charged by the University of Kara, Togo per student for all applicable Degrees. Transfer students must submit their Transcripts from former Institutions to the University of Kara, Togo”, he added.
Earlier, H E UNESCO Laureate Prof Sir Bashiru Aremu (World Acclaimed Distinguished Professor Emeritus ratified by UNESCO top up by UNN Nigeria CSER Malaysia MPRH Institute Iran WCU USA ICERE Argentina South America and others worldwide) has noted that the partnership is valid for five years from the date of signing and can be renewed by tacit consent.
“At the request of one of the parties, the terms of this partnership may be amended during an extraordinary meeting duly convened for this purpose. Any misunderstanding resulting from the implementation or interpretation of this partnership shall be resolved amicably and through consultation in the best interest of both parties. The suspension or termination of this partnership shall be done on the initiative of one of the parties, subject to, at last, prior notice of six months. However, the parties hereby undertake to complete any ongoing activity at the time of the said termination within a stipulated deadline.
Conclude the present Cooperation Agreement with the purpose of cooperation establishment in the field of education and science, regulation of academic collaboration, joint research and exchange programmes”, he said.