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NILS to train journalists ahead of 2019 polls

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The National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) has disclosed that it will train journalists ahead of the 2019 general elections. NILS disclosed this at a meeting between the Steering Committee for the Development of a Strategic Plan for NILS Engagement with Political Actors and Political Office Holders with political editors of media houses in Abuja on Monday.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the steering committee, Aminu Shehu Shagari, stressed that NILS was tasked with a lot of functions which cannot be achieved without the aid of journalists. He said that NILS functioned not only to train legislators but also to foster democratic processes in Nigeria, hence the need to train the watchdogs of the process.

“More specifically, we are proposing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the training of media practitioners on short courses as well as enrolment of media staff in the planned Post-graduate Diploma and Masters Degree programmes.

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“This interface is intended to achieve cooperation, collaboration and to build strategic partnership with the media towards achieving free, fair, credible and acceptable general elections in 2019,” he said. He added that if the NILS Amendment Act is passed and signed into law, the Institute would refocus on its role in building capacity for democratic institutions with a target on democratic processes.

Responding to the questions bothering on the Anambra election, Shagari stressed that the Electoral Act Amendment would capture all electoral offences including purchasing of votes as witnessed in the Anambra election.

Speaking earlier, DG NILS, Ladi Hamalai said the Institute was willing to extend its training to other arms of governments. Hamalai added that NILS had the capacity to conduct training for all political office holders, adding that journalists were top on their priority for training.