Sports across the world have been a source for job creation, social development, infrastructure upgrade and avenues for private investment to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility to the community. Reverse is the case in Nigeria with several underground dealings and misappropriation, misappropriation, misallocation of resources by officers in charge at local, state and federal level.
Nigeria has suffered international embarrassment at global event as a result of corruption of the government officials and even lost the opportunity of participating at the just concluded world football fiesta in Germany. Recently, the secretary of the Nigerian Football League was set on an indefinite suspension based on the charges of misappropriation of N124million. With our concern for the underdevelopment suffered by the sports and social development in the country, as a result of unabated corrupt practices in the sport ministries in the country, this organisation is committed to positioning reporters of the sport beat, for thorough investigation of cases leading to abysmal performance of Nigerian teams in international fiestas, ensuring conclusive follow ups to alleged cases of corruption in the sport industry through capacity building of the reporters.
Since Nigeria hosted the All Africa games in 1973 which gave birth to the National stadium sports complex in Lagos which in turn provided for mass sports attention, producing great men in the field of sports.
The 1980 African Nations Cup was another tournament hosted by Nigeria which also yielded extra participation, leading to reduction of unemployment and crime. However, the late 1990’s till present day could best be described as the “season of locust”. Between these periods, lots of international and regional sporting events and meetings were hosted by Nigeria with multi billion Naira commitments but without any commensurate benefit for the people and industry on the financial involvement.
Hosting, which basically culminates in the development of infrastructure and making of financial gains with which expenses are covered. In the case of Nigeria, it has been a situation of mass loss of revenue with sub-standard structures, which begins to fall apart as soon as the events ends.
The money put into sports by Governments (state and federal) between the “years of locust” is in the region of billions. The various Head of Sports Associations and Ministries Directors in the State and Federal accuses the private sector of always neglecting sports and not showing enough seriousness in helping sports development in the country. The accusation went further that sponsorship is in the region of peanuts if at any time the private sector shows interest.
During the period of this chaos, the Nigerian Sports Reporters have often times been adjudged as active collaborators. They have failed to professionally discharge their reporting responsibility in the line of their constitutional mandate. Rather, they revel – depending on the head of the sports desk – in having a section for or against every matter affecting the industry as a matter of personal interest. Matters of national interest is of no significance except for a very few group of individuals in the press in Nigeria, who have taken the pain to write and talk about large-scale corruption within the sports industry in the country.
All these few get in return is harassment, intimidation, threat and outright sack by their employers. Investigative reporting/journalism is literarily dead (if it ever existed) in Sports reporting.
The primary target group for the training workshop are desk reporters covering the sports beat, with special emphasis on the print media. These people are responsible for sourcing information and conducting investigation into issues revolving around their beats and capable of introducing issues of accountability and good governance in the process of their investigations and reporting.
How and who will be responsible for the selection?
The participants will be selected through a public adverts in networks and selective invitation of potential participants. Selection will be based on the potentials of the applicants to re-transmit lessons learnt and also antecedents in the industry. An internal selection committee of reputable personalities is instituted to ensure the participation of fresh minds and people prepared for change from the old other, in view of the rot permeating the industry presently and unenviable collaboration of the established reporters and editors.
The objectives of the training workshop are;
a) Identifying old and new forms of corruption in the industry and widening the knowledge of participants on the causes and impact of corruption on sports and human development.
b) Examining the impact of corruption on sports independence in Nigeria.
c) Facilitating a search for comparative systems and strategies for confronting the challenge of corruption as an obstacle to sports development in developing countries.
d) Facilitating activities in the areas of joint activity development between the CSOs, the media and anti-corruption institutions.
e) Provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and interaction amongst the reporters on revival of NUJ or possibilities of an alternative platform for advocacies.
f) Establish the first ever platform for the direct involvement of CSOs and anti-corruption institution in the activities of media in relation to sports and its governance.
g) Positioning the sport industry in Nigeria for the development of her infrastructures, empowerment of the people and increase the integrity rating of the country.
a) To enhance the capacity of 30 carefully selected participants for investigative reporting;
b) To form a network of trainees from across the country to commence effective monitoring of development in the sport industry in relation to funding, governance and team selections.
c) To facilitate a change in trend to be adopted by trainees and build their confidence to challenge the status quo.
d) An active collaboration between the media and EFCC in sanitizing sports ministries.
Delivery of the Course and Working Procedures
The course will be delivered through lectures, discussions, debates and workshops. Four sessions will be given per day, with the exception of the first and last days. Participants are expected to arrive on the first day, from the evening and a get together at a dinner, hosted for them to interact. The second day is to commence with speech making and keynote address by representatives of the EFCC and HEDA with other invited guests. A paper will be presented with a group discussion later in the day and followed by a group discussion.
The morning session of other days (third and forth) will be used to introduce key issues, concepts, theories and practices. The second half of the morning will be used for discussion of the issues raised by resource persons in a group discussion. After lunch, a resource person will make another presentation and participants will go into small groups to discuss and prepare presentations on key issues as guided by the resource persons as the last session on views and positions on issues assigned. It is expected that the discussions on the group reports will be organized in such a way that they stimulate debate and exchange of ideas and strategies.
At the end of the course on the forth day, participants will put together the group reports over the whole course, select key issues and recommendations and compile them for presentation to the final plenary and publication.
HEDA, EFCC and participants will jointly work on a strategy for engagement of participants and monitoring of selected recipients of award with the purpose of making a few recommendations that can feed into the national anti-corruption crusade.
The report/compendium will subsequently circulated across the six geo-political zones of the country at no cost to the reporters, government institutions and media houses.
The proposed period of implementation is 2 months starting from the month of October -November 2006. While the process of mobilisation and resource development will be carried out within months of October and the training proper to be in November with its outcome publish in the same month.
Day 1 November 6th : Arrival and registration of participants
Day 1 Evening: Reception and workshop introduction for Participants.
Day 2 November 7th Morning: Opening Ceremony and Keynote Presentation – Bar. Nurudeen Ogbara, Human Rights Activist and Chair, NBA, Ikorodu Branch
Day 2 November 7th Afternoon: Definitions and Forms of Corruption in the industry – Mr. Anthony Kojo-Williams, Former NFA Chairman and critic of mismanagement, Kwara
Day 3 November 8th Morning: Investigative Reporting in Nigeria – Prospects and Challenges – Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Former NUJ Chair and Coordinator, International Press Center, Lagos
Day 3 Afternoon: Promoting a Financially Healthy and Independent Sports Industry – Alh. Ibrahim Galadima, Former NFA Chairman and experienced in sports admin, Abuja
Day 4 November 9th Morning: Reporters as an Effective anti-Corruption watchdog; media and Budget Tracking – Pastor Richard Akinnola, Veteran Investigative Journalist and Chair of CFS, Abuja
Day 4 November 9th Afternoon: Civil Society – Government Partnership in fight against Corruption; the way forward for accountability in the sports industry – Rev Ayo Ositelu, A veteran sports columnist and Chairman, Ejigbo local Council, Lagos
Day 5 November 10th Morning: Workshop on Strategies for Policy Change on Corruption (All stakeholders) – Ikeddy Isiguzo, Editorial Member, Vanguard Newspaper and veteran journalist, Lagos
Day 5 November 10th Afternoon: Departures.
List of potential participants
1.Tunde Odesola, Oshogbo
2.Emma Ujah, Abuja
3.Tony Ubani, Lagos
4.Juliana Taiwo, Abuja
5.Gbolahan Dada, Lagos
6.Igho Akeregha, Abuja
7.Olukayode Thomas, Lagos
8.Deji Omotoyinbo, Lagos
9.Blessing Ogunli, Lagos
- Simeon Nwakandu, Kogi
- Kola Adekola, Lagos
- Baarong Etta, Lagos
- Everest Onyewuchi, Kaduna
- Justina Ibeabuchi, Lagos
- Ade ojeikere, Lagos
- Idah Confidence, Port Harcourt
- Ralph Chidozie George, Enugu
- Wale Ajimotokan, Lagos
- Shina Okeleji, Lagos
- Augustine Ehikoya, Abuja
- Dipo Ogunsola, Oyo
- Semiu Osho, Lagos
- Oboh Mike, Kano
- China Achenu, Lagos
- Hammed Shittu, Kwara
List of Participating Organisations
1.Centre for Free Speech, Lagos
2.Journalist for Democratic Rights, Lagos
List of Potential Resource Persons
1.Richard Akinnola, Veteran Investigative Journalist and Chair of CFS, Abuja
2.Pastor Ayo Ositelu, A veteran sports columnist and Chairman, Ejigbo local Council, Lagos
3.Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Former NUJ Chair and Coordinator, InternationalPressCenter, Lagos
4.Mr. Anthony Kojo-Williams, Former NFA Chairman and critic of mismanagement, Kwara
5.Alh. Ibrahim Galadima, Former NFA Chairman and experienced in sports admin, Abuja
6.Bar. Nurudeen Ogbara, Human Rights Activist and Chair, NBA, Ikorodu Branch
7.Ikeddy Isiguzo, Editorial Member, Vanguard Newspaper and veteran journalist, Lagos
1.Lucky/Wahab Gbadamosi, Expert level training in computer application, Abuja
2.Mr. Yomi Kuku, Ex Sport reporter and rights activist. Coordinator, Search and Groom for Youth Development, Lagos