Advocacy Centre, Foundation sensitize Journalists on fight against Corruption
The Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) and the McArthur Foundation have sensitized journalists in Kwara on the need for investigative reports on the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The programme was a Town hall meeting organised to “Strengthening Investigative Data Driven Journalism in the Fight Against Corruption in Local Languages in Nigeria”.
The theme of the programme was titled: “Systemic Corruption in the Public and Private Sectors: A Deep Drive into Electricity Sector in Kwara state”.
In his address, Mr Zubair Idris, the Executive Director of WAMAC advise community leaders and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to cooperate with journalists in the production of investigative reports on the fight against corruption.
He said: “communities are obliged to own the fight against corruption. We urge the public, journalists and CSOs to ensure participatory democracy, promotion of Transparency and Accountability in the affairs of the government.
“Corruption is not only synonymous with monetary terms but also certain ‘moral acts’ and inappropriate behaviours of public servants towards service delivery,” he said.
He observed that the deregulation of the electricity sector in 2014 and the unbundling of the ‘almighty NEPA’, the new Electricity Distribution Companies, crowned thselvws as emperors and untouchable.
“The government of President Tinubu, signed an act that would reduce the monopoly of the distribution agenc,” he said.
Idris explained that WAMAC and McArthur foundation has embarjwed on advocacy through investigative reporting and programmes on alleged corruption and promotion of good governance.
“This town hall is not design to castigate anyone but rather an opportunity to discuss with stakeholders on menace of corruption and how it affects governance and wellbeing of Nigerians.,” he said.
In their contribution, various participants alleged extortion by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC).
They alleged that the Electricity Company are extortion them through over billing and shifting their responsibilities to consumers by making them buy materials.
They also identified tariff bands as a major conduit for corruption, adding that IBEDC has failed to adhere to service-based tariffs by not providing expected hours of power supply expected on the tariff band being charged to consumers