Reps To Hold Training For Media On Parliamentary Reporting

By Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas says the 10th House will organise training workshops every quarter for reporters covering it.

Abbas made the announcement during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Press Corps at the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to him, the training is to ensure that the reporters are fully equipped with the necessary tools to ensure effective parliamentary reporting to Nigerians.

The Speaker said; “I also want to use this opportunity to inform you that the issue of training and retraining has been a core issue in the House of Representatives and we have had instances where we engage a lot of Organisations to come to our aid in terms of training not only on our members or our committee clerks but also to members of the press.”

He promised that the first leg of the training would begin in October.

“We have already concretised arrangements and the organisation that is going to champion it has already agreed to a date and time. And I’ll try as much as possible to see that at least every quarter, one training or the other is organised for you people,” Abbas said.

He noted that the media plays a vital role in publicizing the activities of the House and needs all the support and Cooperation they can get.

The Speaker said that the House would try as much as possible to minimize its close-door sessions during deliberations.

He stressed that to make the 10th Assembly more vibrant and active, a standing committee was set up to monitor and evaluate the activities of the House.

The Speaker also said that the increase in the number of committees was not aimed at giving leadership positions to members of the House, but to increase the level of efficiency of the oversight functions of the House.

For example, the committee on tertiary education had over three hundred agencies to supervise and at the end of every year, they will end up not being able to oversee some of them. So we have to break it down to allow for efficiency and to put eyes on what the Executive is doing,” Abbas said.

He further said that the Committee has been broken into University Education, Federal Polytechnic, Federal Colleges of Education, and TETFund.

He said that the decision of the House to increase the number of standing committees came under criticism.

According to him, all standing committees have been given marching orders to ensure efficiency in their work.

Abbas explained that to press home the need for efficiency in the work of the standing committees, the House decided to set up a Monitoring committee that would monitor the works of the various committees and put them on their toes.

He said; “In the past, not all committees were active. Now, we want to ensure that all standing committees are active, working for the betterment of the Nigerian people. We want to ensure transparency and we want results. That is why we set up a monitoring committee to monitor their activities. We have also set up a standing committee to monitor the implementation of our legislative agenda. I want to assure the people that we will work for the betterment of the country.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the House of Press Corps, Ms Grace Ike said that the Press Corps was a democracy-friendly corps that is committed to promoting good governance through objective and balanced reportage.

Ms Ike said that any leader who wants to succeed must have the media and enjoy their confidence while ensuring mutual understanding.

She said; “As professional journalists, we are also conscious of national interest and have been doing our job with utmost patriotism. We are not oblivious to the fact that the parliament is the bastion of democracy and hence the reports coming out of it must reflect the reality on the ground and meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigeria.

“However, we also need the cooperation and support of your leadership to continue offering undiluted service to the nation. We need the understanding of committee chairmen and their members to reciprocate our friendly gesture and carry us along in their activities.

“The parliament is a specialized area so there should be training and retraining of journalists should be given utmost priority and we look forward to seeing this materialize,” Ms Ike added.

The session was aimed at enhancing the relationship between the media and the House of Representatives.




Mercy Chukwudiebere

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