The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, FES, Nigeria Office in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Council, has held a one-day media training on Social Protection in Nigeria. The maiden edition of the training, which took place October 19 at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Ikeja, according to Remy Ihejirika, a project manager of the foundation, was meant to sensitise Nigerians on the importance of social protection in the society and the role of the state.
Ifeanyi Onyeonoru, a professor of sociology at the University of Ibadan, who was commissioned by the foundation in 2016 to write on Social Protection: The Role of the State in Social Protection, said that social protection policy should be able to raise the capacity of the ordinary man to manage economic and social risk including unemployment, social exclusion, sickness, disability and old age. He said people lacking all these become aggressive as nobody is attending to their interest, stressing that social protection is simply about people who cannot provide basic needs
Lanre Arogundade, a director at the International Press Centre (IPC), spoke on Approaches to Media Promotion and Non Reporting of Social Protection Issues in Nigeria. He advised journalists to hold government accountable on social protection by using the Freedom of Information, FoI Act to expose how government spends money earmarked for social protection. He described social protection as all public and private initiatives that provide income or consumption transfers to the poor, protect the vulnerable against livelihood risk.
Other facilitators at the training include Owei Lakamfa, a labour leader, who spoke on The Role of Media in Holding Government Accountable to Social Protection and Obligations Under International Instruments. He said social protection is a human right and primary duty of government. And roles of media include advocacy for social protection, enlightenment of the people, monitoring the implementation of the social protection programmes, changing the perspective that social protection is charity by government and reinforce the truth that it is a human right.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, FES, founded in 1925, is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to the values of social democracy. The FES works towards promotion of freedom, solidarity and social justice. It pursues these aims through its programmes of political education, international cooperation, scholarships, and research both in Germany and internationally. FES maintains more than 100 offices worldwide, of which 24 are located in Africa. The Nigeria Office, Abuja and Lagos, started in 1976.