Promoting and Protecting Press Freedom & Freedom Of Expression In Nigeria

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Weekly Debates on FOI Airing on Lagos Television


LAGOS, Sunday, December 04, 2005: A weekly television discussion programme aimed at highlighting the importance of the Freedom of Information to various sectors of the Nigerian society went on air last week on Lagos Television (LTV). Titled “Freedom of Information and You”, the programme will run for every Wednesday, between 5.30 pm and 6.00 pm for 10 weeks.


The programme is sponsored by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) with funding from the European Commission (EC).


Prominent media practitioners, human rights activists, academics and other professionals will serve as discussants in different editions of the programme.  They include Mr. Odia Ofeimun, a poet, journalist and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA); Mr. Ayo Olukotun, a lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Lagos; Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Project Director for Freedom House/Nigeria; Mr. Kayode Komolafe, Deputy Managing Director of ThisDay newspapers; and Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Coordinator of the International Press Center (IPC).


Others are Mr. Jiti Ogunye, a lawyer and Executive Director of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR); Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara, a lawyer and Director of Citizens Center; Mrs Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC); Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director of Project Alert on Violence Against Women; Ms Lilian Ekeanyanwu, the National Coordinator of the Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC); and Mr. Adewale Adeoye, Executive Director of Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER).


The discussants will cover issues such as how a regime of Freedom of Information in Nigeria can help to deepen Nigeria’s democracy; raise standards in academic research, assist in the management and resolution of conflicts, including agitations for self determination and resource control; and contribute to the campaign for gender equity in Nigeria. The discussions will also explore how an FOI law can institute and sustain a regime of transparency and accountability in Nigeria; improve Nigeria’s business environment and economic fortunes; assist in the effective protection of human rights; and make the fight against corruption more effective.


The programme will also discuss the benefits of an FOI law to artisans, farmers, traders as well as others in the informal sectors of the economy. 


The programme will be replicated in television stations in the North and South East early next year.





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