MRA Executive Director Urges CMEDIA Project Partners to Collaborate More to Improve Media Environment, Governance

Standing from left: Bunmi Bamiselu, Admin Manager (MRA), Kingsley Aisagbonhi, Accountant (MRA), Oluwafemi Dada, Finance Assistant (WSCIJ), Chiamaka Onwuegbunam, Assistant Programme Officer, WSCIJ, Ayode Longe, Programme Director (MRA) and Emem Nssien, CMEDIA Finance Officer. Sitting from left to right: Obioma Okonkwo, Head, Legal department (MRA), Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Technical Adviser (CMEDIA project), Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, MRA and Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ

Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), has urged partners to the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) in its Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project to explore ways to collaborate more and give better visibility to CMEDIA activities in order to improve the media environment in Nigeria and bring about good governance in the country.

Edetaen made the call while addressing a delegation of WSCIJ which paid a visit to MRA office on March 16, 2023. He said the CMEDIA project provided an opportunity to make an impact and collaborate with the strong collective of media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the 27-organisations strong partnership. He described year one of the project as a learning curve. He thanked the WSCIJ team for visiting and highlighted the need to sustain the valuable peer-to-peer learning among partners.

The WSCIJ team paid the visit to MRA, a partner under CMEDIA Project to get an update on the MRA’s progress, share feedback and learn more about its plans for year two of MRA’s CMEDIA activities.

The WSCIJ delegation, led by Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, also had Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Technical Adviser on the CMEDIA project; Emem Nssien, CMEDIA Finance Officer; Oluwafemi Dada, Finance Assistant; Chiamaka Onwuegbunam, Assistant Programme Officer; and Afolabi Oni, Communication Officer. The delegation was received by Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of the MRA

The meeting also had Ayode Longe, Programme Director; Ms Obioma Okonkwo, Head, Legal department; Kingsley Aisagbonhi, Accountant; and Mrs. Bunmi Bamiselu, Admin Manager and all from MRA in attendance.

Mrs. Alaka, in her feedback, said the CMEDIA project has been a good experience for all parties even as the WSCIJ explores ways to improve its strategies with partners to achieve better results by strengthening the collaboration. She advised that in addition to printing and distributing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, MRA should also organise more training for journalists to help the media take full advantage of the Act and the ongoing changes in the political landscape to drive home the need for accountability from the incoming administration using the FOI Act as a tool. She also announced that targeted training for partners to address financial reporting, investigative journalism, and programming will hold in the course of the year.

Commending MRA’s report, Prof. Ogwezzy-Ndisika said it showed that the organisation had good experience even as she pointed out salient issues to improve upon for the second year. Apart from training the media, she advised MRA to promote citizen engagement and training of students of journalism across tertiary institutions on media issues.

The CMEDIA project is a multi-level intervention that supports media independence, improved transparency, accountability, and good governance in state and local governments with more public awareness on the need for accountability, and amplified marginalised voices. The three-year project is being implemented with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.