By Sarauniya Usman, Abuja
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) commence training for Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA).
The training programme, was organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.
The theme for the five-day training programme is “Digital Skills in News Reportage for ICT Journalists.”
The training was geared towards upgrading the skills and knowledge of members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm as the new knowledge acquired during the programme would benefit the larger society.
During the opening ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami stated that the digital Nigeria project cannot be achieved without capacity development, stressing that ICT Journalists have a role to play.
The Minister highlighted that similar training will be conducted for people living with disabilities, farmers, artisans, civil servants among others, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
Dr Pantami further called on the media practitioners to upheld professionalism and integrity in reporting, stressing that responsible journalism is key to democracy and good governance.
Pantami also underscored some of the achievement recorded under his leadership such as the development National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025, protection of telecom infrastructures, addressing the challenges of Right of Way among others.
“With all sense of humility as at the time I assumed office, Broadband Penetration was at 31.5%. As of today in less than a year in office, Broadband Penetration stands at 40.18%. We have achieved an almost 10% increase”, the Minister said.
Director General of NITDA,Mr Kashifu Inuwa said that ICT was a sure way of escaping the COVID-19 pandemic and the training was important towards achieving digital economy.
He also added that Digital skills can open new opportunities because there are challenges everywhere but less opportunity, so when the skill you have created the opportunity, you grab it,” he said.
The President, FCT Chapter, Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), Mr Blessing Olaifa said the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami is a goal-getter in the team of President Buhari.
Mr Olaifa also commended the Honourable Minister for being the first cabinet member to address journalist and give an account of his stewardship early this year.
Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Management Academy,Mr Peter Oyeneye, who is one of the resource person, while facilitating the training,he said that reporting in the COVID-19 pandemic era was the new normal and advised journalists to acquaint themselves with the new changes.
According to Him, journalists as change agents, should use their mediums to educate their audience using ICT facilities.
He added that there were more than 100 human activities going on online and they engender digital economy.
He said despite the benefits of digitalisation, the challenge of change remains potent and people prefer to stick to the known than the unknown.
He called on media organisations to embrace change in the stlye of communication, sponsor roadmap, train journalists on the new normal, and be ready to build resistance management.
Oyeneye also advised journalists to lead the change, sell benefits of digital economy, research into challenges of digitalisation and base their stories on their research and do comparative analysis of Nigeria’s digital economy to others.