The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has said that it would partner online media publishers to strengthen the anti-corruption campaign in the country.
Ekpo Nta, the ICPC Chairman, who spoke during a courtesy visit to the commission in Abuja on tuesday by a delegation of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, said the partnership would entail the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Guild to ensure that members were trained to enhance effective investigative reports on corruption.
He said that the partnership becomes necessary considering the vital role played by online media practitioners in shaping the current and future outlook of the country.
He described the coming together of online publishers under the auspices of GOCOP as the most appropriate in the present circumstances, considering volatile nature of online reporting and the increasing number of social media users.
“Believe me quite honestly, you have done the right thing with this initiative because when you look at the role of online publishing and the seeming underestimation of the damage of uncoordinated online reporting to the national security and the psyche of the young people, then you will appreciate how critical this your association is”
As an anti-corruption agency, the ICPC boss said that it will optimally utilise the emerging relationship with online publishers to further push the frontiers of its anti-corruption crusade.
“We will work out modalities to have an MoU with your association, to establish a working relationship that will entail discussions on ways to fight corruption in the country in 2015,” Nta said.
Nta noted that some publications on corruption clearly shows that reporters of such news lack basic understanding of corruption and the mandate of different agencies in the fight against corruption, stressing that the commission will use the relationship to build capacities of online journalists in the reportage of corruption issues.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and publisher of New Mail online, Salami Semiu had told the ICPC chairman that the Guild was established a year ago to regulate the activities of online media publishers.
Salami said the visit was to formally introduce the Guild to the commission as well as to canvass partnership in business to sustain the organisations.