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NTA, Others To Collaborate With Al Jazeera On Capacity Building For Journalists

By Ayo Balogun

Collaboration between the Doha-based international broadcaster, Al Jazeera and the government-owned media organizations, especially the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in the area of capacity building for journalists is underway.

Nigeria and the Doha-based international broadcaster, Al Jazeera are to collaborate in the area of capacity building for journalists in the government-owned media organizations, especially the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The emerging development followed a request made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to Al Jazeera to collaborate with the Nigerian Ministry of Information and Culture in its efforts to restructure the NTA and other publicly-funded media establishments to enhance their performance.

He said the collaboration could be in the areas of capacity building as well as exchange of programmes and personnel.

”Our plan is to reposition the public media organizations to make them effective and competitive, irrespective of which government is in power,” Alhaji Mohammed said during a meeting with the Acting Director General of Al Jazeera, Dr. Mostafa Souag, in Doha, Qatar, Saturday.

”For a long time, government media organizations have lost their independence and credibility. I want to restore the glory and credibility of the publicly-owned media organizations,” he affirmed.

The Minister also called for a ‘special relationship’ between Al Jazeera and the Nigerian Government in the coverage of the key policy areas of this Administration – the fight against corruption and terrorism as well as the efforts to revamp the economy.

He assured Al Jazeera that the present Administration in Nigeria ”is an extremely open government” and that the organization would not have any problem doing its work in the country.

Responding, the Acting Director General of Al Jazeera hailed Nigeria for providing a conducive environment for the media to carry out their duties.

”Despite a lot of conflict and tension, you have managed to create a conducive environment for the media. This is very important for us in the media and we hope to see more freedom and more protection for the media,” he restated.

Dr. Souag disclosed Al Jazeera was willing to cooperate with the Ministry in the area of training, adding: ”Our training centre is one of the most professional in every aspect of the media, We are more than happy to work with you.”

Alhaji Mohammed is in Qatar to attend the 2016 Annual Congress of the International Press institute (IPI), which is due to open later today.

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