The United States of America has allocated $50million (N21.6bn) to support the training of journalists, INEC officials and civil society organizations for the credible conduct of Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
The US Consul-General in Lagos, Will Stevens, made this known at the opening of a two-day workshop on election reporting for political reporters, editors, video journalists and videographers on Tuesday in Ibadan.
The workshop was organised by West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy, Enugu Literary Society and supported by the United States Consulate-General, Lagos.
Stevens said the allocated fund would be used to provide technical assistance for beneficiaries.
The consul-general said that the focus of the US Is to ensure that Nigeria’s 2023 general elections are peaceful and credible.
“We are supporting more than 100 journalists with this workshop in Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos as part of US efforts to support Nigeria’s elections.
“Over the last three years and into the next year too, the US government has allocated more than $50million for technical assistance, support, trainings for INEC, and for civil society, among others.
We have been working closely in partnership with civil society and INEC, through the US Agency for International Development.
“The partnership focuses on technical assistance and support for the system that has been put in place to ensure that every vote counts,” he said.
Stevens also said the US government would continue to emphasise the value of voting and protecting a free press, adding that the media is absolutely essential in preserving democracy.
“We are committed to initiatives here in Nigeria to build needed capacity.
“We have funded training for hundreds of journalists on topics ranging from fact-checking, health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting and media ethics.
“These trainings, together with other programmes we offer virtually, are to demonstrate our commitment to this partnership that we have long enjoyed here in Nigeria,” he added.
In his remarks, the Director of West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy, Ken Okere, said the workshop was put together to train journalists to be the best at what they do.