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Compel lawmakers to follow up on investigative reports, Oloja tells CSOs

By Sunday Aikulola
23 October 2022   |   2:37 am
Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief, Guardian Newspapers Limited, Mr. Martins Oloja has urged civil society groups to compel lawmakers to follow up on investigative reports done by journalists.

[FILES] Court. PHOTO: iStock

Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief, Guardian Newspapers Limited, Mr. Martins Oloja has urged civil society groups to compel lawmakers to follow up on investigative reports done by journalists.
 

 
Speaking at the inaugural World Information Day Lecture and Information Literacy Week, organised by the Africa Centre for Development Journalism (ACDJ), in Lagos, yesterday, he said many investigative reports have been published in the country, but the parliament has refused to follow up on the issues, a development, he said does not augur well for investigative journalism and the country.
  
He queried: “What manner of journalism do we practice where our reports are disregarded by the arm of government that should follow up on them? We have the Public Accounts Committee that can look at figures and do a public hearing, but nothing happens to those reports. So, there is no motivation for reporters.”
  
Continuing, he said; “We have written about oil theft. Eighty per cent of our crude is being stolen. From investigation, we have seen how this takes place, but nobody has been arrested, or taken to court.”
 
 
He referred to the “Watergate Scandal” in the United States where Congress moved into action based on data collated from reporters.
  
But in Nigeria, he said, the parliament would rather tell you how it is always ready to pass whatever the executive brings without severe scrutiny. 
  
He expressed concern over the effect of the economy on the media, insisting that it is through journalism that the nation’s broken-down systems could be fixed.

Oloja also stressed the need for civic education ahead of the 2023 census.
 

 
In her Keynote address, the Country Representative, of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ulla Mueller, who spoke on the “Importance of Census in Identifying and Reaching Diverse Communities/Resolving Inequalities,” noted that the media and civil societies have vital roles to play in ensuring a transparent census next year.
  
She said: “We need the data from the census to drive development. The census will be of international standards, and we have invested human and financial resources.”
  
Similarly, Executive Director/ Editor-In-Chief ACDJ, Rotimi Sankore, linked the nation’s insecurity to inequality. 
  
He lamented that with 20 million out-of-school children located in fragile parts of the country, insurgents and bandits were having a field day recruiting the children for their dirty jobs because of the high level of inequality, as well as social and economic exclusions.