Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila has urged media organisations to invest more in periodic training of their personnel and provide resources for investigative journalism.
Gbajabiamila said this during a one-day seminar to mark the House of Representatives Press Corps Day on Wednesday in Abuja.
The speaker, who was represented by Minority Leader of the house, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP- Delta) said the training was necessary to enable journalists fully understand the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
“When the FOI Act was passed into law, many critics worried that the press will abuse the law to demand access to information that isn’t covered by its mandate.
“This needs to change, because as those of us in public office have a mandate to fight corruption by building a culture of transparency within our institutions.
“By empowering law enforcement to do its job effectively without fear or favour, you too have an obligation to hold us to account, and to do so honourably,” he said.
He said corruption had denied the country of its resources and the will to invest in its communities and urged all Nigerians to join in fighting the scourge.
“Corruption in public office severes the relationship of trust and accountability that ought to exist between leaders and the people they lead; this is not a fight against individuals or political interests.
“We must not look back, we must not waiver, and above all, we must not fall into the false comfort of believing that this is somebody else’s fight. We are all responsible, we are all obligated,” the speaker said.
Also, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa) a member of the Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, urged the media to join in the fight against corruption.
Namdas also reiterated the need for the media to represent the facts of the house in their reportage to promote the confidence of Nigerians in the National Assembly.
“This is the 9th Assembly, We will need your joint cooperation. If information comes from the press corps covering NASS, giving serious fears, then it is terrible that Nigerians will buy into that.
“Sometimes, you find that the headline is too frightening. I will urge that this is the 9th Assembly. We will need your joint cooperation and ensure that your reports are factual.
“If we have done something that is actually good, like passing a bill, let the public know and also the far reaching effect it has and by the time it comes from you, people will build confidence in what we are doing,” he said.
The event organised by the press corps in collaboration with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) had as its theme: “Fight Against Corruption: Setting Agenda for the 9th House.”