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US earmarks $50m to support 2023 polls

The United States of America (USA) has allocated $50 million to support Nigeria’s 2023 general elections. The fund, it said, would cover training of journalists,…

The United States of America (USA) has allocated $50 million to support Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.

The fund, it said, would cover training of journalists, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and technical assistance, among others, to ensure transparent elections.

US Consul General, Mr Will Stevens, disclosed this on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State, during an open session on elections reporting at a workshop for journalists organised by the West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy (WABMA).

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He reiterated the US’ commitment to building capacities of journalists and CSOs towards credible polls next year.

He said, “The US government has allocated over $50m for technical assistance and support, trainings for CSOs to support the elections, transparency, elections processes, technical assistance, working on the IT systems, among others.

“We really want to see credible and peaceful elections that will represent the will of the Nigerian people.”

He charged Nigerians to participate in the elections processes by ensuring that they voted for candidates of their choice.

Stevens also urged the media to ensure thorough and objective reporting of the elections.

Media experts, Professor Lai Osho of the Lagos State University and Professor Christian Ulasi of the School of Communication, Texas Southern University, said democracy would not survive without the media.

Osho and Ulasi, therefore, appealed to journalists to be neutral and always ensure that their stories were fair and balanced.

The Elections Reporting Project Team Lead of WABMA, Ken-Ike Okere, charged journalists to guard against fake news by fact-checking their stories and being sure of their sources.