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NBS, Code for Africa train NAN reporters on data journalism

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Mr John Eromosele, a data analyst with Code for Africa, on Wednesday said it was important for journalists to improve the content and credibility of their reports by using data.

Eromosele and other experts made the call at a training programme organised by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Code for Africa at the Nigeria News Agency Media Centre, on Wednesday in Lagos.

Eromosele said the training programme with the theme: “Using Official Statistics for Storytelling in Nigeria,” was imperative for present day journalists to be conversant with modern trends in data journalism.

He said the NBS and Code for Africa partnered to improve the skills of journalists to use data to tell and illustrate stories better for wider and enhanced audience engagement.

He also said the essence of the training was to equip the participants with the dynamics of navigating and getting reliable data from the NBS portal.

“Journalists should be able to create accurate and detailed storytelling with data.

“Today, we were able to explore resources such as how to illustrate data and utilise goggle map to tell the story better.

“We are also creating new scales on how we can optimise the resources on the NBS portal to tell better stories using data.

“This training was organised to see how we can synergise our work and optimise the use of official data statistics in Nigeria,” Eromosele said.

A Programme Analyst with NBS, Mr Lucky Ogidan, said data was very important because it identified societal problems that needed attention.

According to him, the NBS designs programmes and uses appropriate actions to eradicate problems, and also provides the basis for monitoring programme implementation.

“Data production life-cycle in NBS requires planning, processing, archiving, pilot testing, production and final determination of instrument.

“In the field of statistics, data production involves multi-stage processes; each stage is so important to successful production of reliable data that will reflect the current situation,” he said.

Ogidan said the aim of the training was to optimise the NBS portal to tell data stories because people needed to understand the use of data before applying it in their stories.

“Data is a collected fact, answer to a question and structured data is organised in tabular format as either qualitative or quantitative.

“Statistics is the science of collecting, organising and analysing numerical data in large quantities.

“Journalists need to use more of data and statistics in telling their stories because data is used to identify societal problems that need attention in the country.

“One of our goals is to turn data into information and information into insight. We serve the government, the economy and the public with data about the socioeconomic,demographic and environmental situations,” he said.

Mr Salif Atojoko, General Manager, Bizcom, a subsidiary of , said the training would help journalists to enhance their stories by illustrating them with data.

According to Atojoko, using data, either icons, graphs or pictures with stories, will make people to understand the stories easily and better.

“NBS is the main supplier of statistics on health, economy, education and so on, but many people cannot access their portal.

“This training will really help journalists to enhance their capacity and ability to get statistics from NBS.

“Code for Africa has been training journalists for a while now and NBS partnered with them to facilitate this training so they can create a synergy with journalists and fast track access to their portal,” Atojoko said.

Mrs Vivian Ihechu, an Editor and the Head, Data and Investigation Desk, Lagos, commended NBS and Code fir Africa for organising the training.

According to her, traditional or conventional journalism has expanded to data and digital journalism, which help to drive policies on health, population, economy, security and arts.

“Data gives a deeper insight on issues at hand. At a glance, one knows the indices and the status quo.

“It helps to track government policies, spendings and promises as well as improve access to government services.

“With data from reliable sources like the NBS, there is credibility in a story,” she said.

Ihechu assured that the trained journalists would put to good use the knowledge acquired.

One of the participants, Mrs Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma, said the knowledge from the training was priceless, especially with the sessions on finding, cleaning and exporting data as well as visualisation with the data generated.

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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32-man Borno delegation understudies Kaduna on participatory governance

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A 32-man delegation from Borno is in Kaduna State on a study of key government institutions in the area of good practices and participatory governance.

Leader of the team, Alhaji Musa Abubakar, said on Friday in Kaduna that the 2-day visit is supported by Mercy Corps Nigeria.

Abubakar said the aim was to apply the experiences of Kaduna state in tackling poverty and build secure, productive and just communities in Borno.

He explained that Mercy Corps is running a peace programme on conflict management and stabilization in 20 communities in Gwoza, Damboa, Dikwa, Maiduguri and Jere local government areas of Borno.

According to him, the programme has three components which includes social cohesion, social inclusion and governance.

“One of the lineups of activities under these components is a learning visit by government officials to see the innovations and restructuring happening in Kaduna public service,” he said.

Abubakar disclosed that at the end of the visit, the team would develop action plans for implementation in Borno.

He said the 32-man team consists of officials from Ministries of Women Affairs, Finance, Justice and Local Government, as well as Legal Aid Council, Borno State House of Assembly and Local Government Councils.

The team leader said they would visit the Kaduna state

Ministries of Justice, Human Services and Social Development, and Budget and Planning, as well as the state Peace Commission, Civil Society Organizations and Interfaith Mediation Centre.

Also, the Director Women Affairs in Borno, Hajiya Falmata Gambo, said she was impressed with what the team had seen so far.

Similarly, the Desk Officer, Borno State House of Assembly, Baba Kura Maina, said their experiences in Kaduna would help to add value to the transformational efforts of Gov. Babagana Zulum.

Maina, who described the Borno governor as a blessing to the state, said he has put in place machineries needed for restoration of the lost glory of the state.

Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed

(NAN)

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Nothing secret, sinister about us — Ogboni Fraternity

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Leader of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF), Chief Francis Meshioye, has again debunked public perception that the fratenity was a secret society.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos during flag off of 2019 Founders’ Day Celebration of ROF, Meshioye, said there was nothing sinister in the activities of the fraternity.

“We are far from being a secret society; we are a registered entity that abides with the laws of the land and our objectives are to promote positive values, truth, justice and cultural heritage,” he said.

He explained that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, there was nothing secret or sinister about the fraternity, saying it was founded for the good of the society.

Meshionye further explained that the fraternity was actually founded in 1914 by a Christian, Deacon Jacobson Ogunbiyi, saying the initial objective was to promote Christian values among the people.

He added that the group was later expanded to accommodate people of other faiths, hence the change in name from Ogboni Fraternity to Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.

Meshioye said a number of distinguished Nigerians, dead and living, were members of the group, emphasising that the fraternity was strictly for positive values.

He said that it was note-worthy that the founding fathers of ROF were part of those who fought for decolonisation of Nigeria, developed such establishments as the civil service, judiciary and many functional post-colonial institutions.

He listed some of them as late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, late Chief Ladoke Akintola and late Sir Adeyemo Alakija.

The ROF leader said every Nigerian of good character could join the group as the fraternity was not for those who were seeking quick wealth.

According to Meshioye, it is important for people to understand what the group stands for, urging Nigerians to embrace the virtues of the fraternity

”The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF) has the ultimate objective of promoting good values, love discipline, not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world wherever her members finds him or herself.

”There is a clear distinction between ROF as a fraternity and any other forms of organisations.

”Our fraternity compels her members to imbibe the fundamental injunction of ”do unto others as you wish others to do unto you ”

”However, the fraternity had to overcome many challenges that were rooted in misinterpretations of what we stand for,” the ROF leader said.

He said the celebration of ROF’s 2019 Founders’ Day was to promote the ideals of the fraternity and show the world that the group was all positive.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi

(NAN)

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Cleric advises Nigerians to utilise advantages of border closure

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A Cleric, Christopher Qwolabi, on Friday, advised Nigerians, especially youths, to utilise the advantages of the nation’s border closure to be self-productive and reliant.

Owolabi, the General Overseer, Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Irapada, Omu-Aran, gave the advice during the church’s special service tagged: “Toward a Prosperous 2020 and Beyond”, in Omu-Aran, Kwara.

He said the closing of the nation’s borders to curb banditry, insurgency, incessant dumping of contraband, fake and contaminated drugs, was long overdue.

According to him, the border closure no doubt has started yielding fruitful results and very glaring for the citizens to see.

“There are many things that are being imported that can be produced in large quantity locally.

“It’s an insult on our integrity and intelligence to continue to import toothpicks, food items, furniture products with our array of expertise and intellectual capacity.

“Production of local rice has increased and the commodity has flooded major markets across the length and breadth of the country.

“Patronage of other locally-produced items like beans, cassava, semovita, poultry products have also soared following the closure of the borders.

“It’s high time Nigerians, particularly the youth, utilise this positive development to engage in different aspects of agriculture for their own benefit and advantage.

“With the present high rate of unemployment and non-availability of white collar jobs, the closure of borders is, therefore, a veritable alternative for the youth to be self-productive,” he said.

Owolabi also urged practitioners of traditional medicine to come together and come up with locally-produced effective and well-packaged therapy for common ailments.

According to him, this will be a good replacement for such therapy being imported from neighbouring African countries.

“Alomo Bitters from Ghana is a good example of such highly -preferred imported stuffs being consumed by Nigerians.

“Our practitioners can also come up with such therapy for mass production and local consumption after necessary certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“Our neighbours are just taking advantage of our large population and turned the country to a dumping ground for their products.

“Their recent reactions to the border closure have shown that Nigeria is a big market in the continent, especially in the ECOWAS sub-region.

“With the right attitude, conducive environment, most  essential needs of the citizens can sufficiently be produced locally,” he said.

Owolabi urged parents, community leaders and religious leaders to always use their parental ability, counselling and preaching to sensitise the youths on the need to be self-productive.

Edited by: Angela Okisor/Adeleye Ajayi

(NAN)

 

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Orphanage appeals for more support for less privileged

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Talitha Cumi Orphanage, Federal Housing Authority Nyanya, Abuja, has appealed to well-spirited Nigerians for more support for the less privileged in the society.

Manager of the Orphanage, Pastor Adamson Bolyawa, made the appeal when a group, Praying Women, visited the orphanage on Friday.

He said that one of the greatest challenges confronting the orphanage was the issue of school fees as most of the children were enrolled in schools.

“We call on Nigerians to come to the aid of these children who had either lost a parent or both parents.

“As children, they need the basic necessities of life,” he said.

Bolyawa said that the orphanage was a registered entity but was not a centre for child adoption.

“We don’t do adoption; we see our house as a house of refuge where people are taken off the streets and given better life.

“Some are in the universities and as a Christian home, we inculcate godly virtues in the children,” he said.

On her part, Mother of the Centre, Mrs Keziah Bennett, who expressed gratitude to God and the members for the visit said that the orphanage presently had 41 children within the toddler and teenage age groups.

She noted that the orphanage which started in 2001 had some of the children as graduates from universities across the country.

“All the children in the home are in regular schools and also engaged in skills acquisition.

“We thank God for His faithfulness which has been tremendous through out the years,” she said.

Earlier, while presenting the items ranging from food, clothing and toiletries coordinator of the group, Mrs Bukola Adewumi, said that the visit was part of the group’s mandate in contributing its quota in bringing succour to the less privileged.

While noting that the visit was the seventh edition, Adewumi said that they were at the orphanage to show love to the orphans as part of events heralding Christmas.

“We are here to share with the home out of the abundance God has given us in this season of Christmas.

“We are here to exemplify the teaching of Jesus on love for one another,” she said.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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DSPPC restates commitment to public awareness on procurement regime

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Mr Duke Okeze, Director-General, Delta State Public Procurement Commission (DSPPC), says the commission is committed toward ensuring enhanced public awareness on the state’s public procurement regime.

Okeze made this known in Asaba on Friday at an interactive and sensitisation workshop for civil society organisations, contractors and the media on the new public procurement regime in the state.

He said that that commission remained committed to ensuring that contract awards reflected the yearning and needs of the public.

The director-general said that it was the obligation of the commission to protect, sensitise and create awareness about extant procurement laws in the state to avoid pitfalls.

“We are engaging all stakeholders to ensure robust understanding of ongoing procurement reforms in the state.

“A capacity assessment exercise is ongoing across different government Ministries, Department and Agencies,” he said.

He said the programmes was to sensitise the stakeholders on the guidelines for the implementation of the new procurement law in the state.

Okeze noted said that part of the commission’s duty was to periodically review the socio-economic effects of government policies on procurement.

“They are to also prepare and update standard bidding and contract documents and prevent fraudulent procurement practices,” he said. .

Edited by: Azubuike Okeh/Adeleye Ajayi

(NAN)

 

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