NACJ UDUS Invites CJID Staffer, Trains Campus Journalists on Accountability Reporting

 By Abdulrasheed Akere 

The National Association of Campus Journalists, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto chapter (NACJ UDUS), has trained the UDUS campus journalists on accountability reporting on Sunday, January 29, 2023. 

The training which was held on Google Meet between 12 pm and 1 pm was facilitated by Uchenna Igwe, a staffer of the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), who has a vast knowledge of the UDEME Project and Accountability Reporting.

The motive of the session was to train the NACJ members on accountability reporting to ease and help them in their application for the UDEME 2023 project. 

The areas discussed by the facilitator encompassed how to source stories ideas for accountability reporting, tracking budget and procurement, and how to write quality pitches for accountability stories.

The facilitator, Uchenna, while sharing his screen with the participants, discussed five items on his agenda namely; “Public Procurement, Drivers of Public Procurement, Procurement Fraud, Red Flags, and Model Stories.”

Uchenna, in his training session, made references to several accountability stories including the one reported by the former EIC of Pen Press, Abdulrasheed Hammad, on a Kwara State drainage system. He explained that the project was nominated by the then Kwara central senator, Bukola Saraki in 2016 and 2018. 

“The project was well executed but it stopped serving its purpose as people turned it into a dumping site,” he added.

He further shared with the participants, some hints on what to look out for in an accountability story. These include: Contract sum, level of work done, community needs, the effect of the project on the community, contractors' credentials, and others. 

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He also shared a sample of an accountability story pitch written by Sunday Awosoro with the preliminary title that reads: “Investigation: How over N155 million health facilities were completed and abandoned in Ekiti community.”

“Your pitch for UDEME should tell the name of the project, what you want to do and what you intend to achieve,” Uchenna enlightened.

Taofeeq Imam, one of the participants commended the effort of NACJ UDUS for organizing the training, noting that it was lively and fantastic. 

“Actually, the webinar is a development from NACJ, a continuation of its kind will really go a long way to make UDUS campus journalists more standout among others in Nigeria,” he opined.

Another participant, Hamid Fatimah Omotayo, expressed gratitude to the facilitator and the NACJ UDUS executives for the wonderful training. 

“The webinar was interesting and educative. Thanks to everyone that brought about it and I wish this kind of programme continues to groom campus journalists,” she said.

In an interview with the NACJ President, Abdulwasiu Olokooba, he expressed his gladness over the success of the training. 

“I'm glad that the training went well and it was a success. I was pleased with the turnout of the participants despite the examination period, this shows that members are actually committed,” he said.

He further advised the campus journalists to make use of what was discussed by the facilitator in the process of their career and that they should endeavour to apply for the UDEME project to have a lot of successful applicants from UDUS.

“The UDEME project will give them the experience, network, mentorship and financial sustenance that they need during the period of the program,” he disclosed.

Abdulrasheed Akere is a Student and the Correspondent of Observersmag at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) 

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