POLICY ALERT SUPPORTS FIVE JOURNALISTS ON EXTRACTIVE INVESTIGATION
Policy Alert, a Civil Society Organisation promoting economic and ecological justice in the Niger Delta, has awarded mini-grants totaling N1.25m to five investigative reporters in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
This was contained in the Press Statement signed on Tuesday by the Organisation’s Programme Lead on Energy, Extractives and Climate Justice, Mfon Gabriel.
According to him, “The #WetinWeGain Reports is the investigative journalism component of Policy Alert’s project, #WetinWeGain2 – Putting Citizens at the Centre of Beneficial Ownership and Contract Transparency Reforms in Nigeria’s Extractive Sector. The project seeks to popularise extractive sector data, particularly payments to government, beneficial ownership information and contract details. Although recent reforms in the extractive sector have huge potential for detecting and deterring corruption, plugging revenue leakages, and improving the benefits citizens derive from oil, gas and mineral resources, this can only happen where extractive data is effectively utilised by citizens and the media as tools for accountability and improved community beneficiation.”
He further said that in September 2021, Policy Alert had conducted series of training workshops on data journalism and extractive sector reporting for investigative reporters in the four states of the Niger Delta where the project is being implemented. After which, a pitch contest was organized from which five entries were competitively selected.
The winning entries came from Ann Godwin of The Guardian, Ekemini Simon of The Mail, Aiwerie Okungbowa of The Nation, Tony Esin of Comfort 95.1 fm, and Enwonoabasi Elisha of The Crest Newspaper.
According to Policy Alert, the journalists, drawn from the print, online and electronic media, are working in the four pilots of states of the project – Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Rivers – and will be developing reports focused on the pilot oil, gas, and mining assets being investigated under the project – OML13/14 (Akwa Ibom), Lafarge Holcim cement operations at Mfamosing (Cross River), OML 127/128 (Rivers), and OML 40 (Delta).
The funding is to support the research and publication of investigative stories under its #WetinWeGain2 project.