In a move towards strengthening the capacity of Nigeria’s journalists to effectively contribute to national discussions on agricultural issues, the Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held a policy communications training course for journalists of the National Assembly Press Corps on Friday 26 and Monday 29 January 2018 in Abuja.
The training course covered the source of information relevant to agricultural policy, the use of social media for policy communications, good practice in the building of social media audiences for agricultural policy. The training course was the first-ever of its kind for Nigeria’s Senate. The 26 participants (19 males and 7 females) included journalists from the National Assembly’s Committee on Media and Public Affairs and 24 public and private media organizations.
According to Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who is both Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs and the Senator representing the Niger North Senatorial District, “…the Senate Press Corps through this Introductory Communications Policy will play important roles in the effective dissemination of information of the National Assembly…. The need for Policy Communications is essential... I have no doubt in my mind that at the end of this training programme, participants will be more equipped in Policy Communications on legislative activities, especially that of the Senate.”
Dr Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President, stated in his remarks delivered by Senator Phillip Aduda, Minority Whip for the country’s House of Senate and Senator for the Federal Capital Territory, “Our appreciation goes to the International Food Policy Research Institute for granting us this honour of sponsoring this first-of-its-kind international training to our media practitioners in this eighth Senate. This is in line with this Senate’s agenda of inclusive legislation, which cannot be fully achieved without the input of other agencies like yours.”
The training course is part of capacity building activities of the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, which is jointly implemented by IFPRI-NSSP and Michigan State University with the generous funding of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Nigeria).