We the People and Policy Alert, Institute Prize for Open Government Journalism in the Niger Delta
Two non-governmental organizations, We the People and Policy Alert, have instituted a special prize for investigative journalists reporting open government issues in the Niger Delta. The prize is an initiative of the Niger-Delta Open Government Observatory (NOGO), convened by both organizations.
The prize was announced today in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during a Training / Briefing session for journalists as part of an initiative on Tracking NDDC Projects in Akwa Ibom State. Prize winners will receive a cash award, a plaque from the organization and its international partners, and a three month fellowship with both organizations.Unveiling the award, Executive Director of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, said: “The media as the fourth estate of the realm is a key partner with civil society in the quest for improved governance for the Niger Delta region. Currently, development indicators in the region are at variance with the oil producing status of the region and the comparatively massive revenue inflows to the region through federal allocations, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), 13 percent derivation and other revenue sources. We are instituting the Niger Delta Open Government Journalism Prize as a response to the dearth of human-angle and data-rich stories that can trigger reforms and incentivize citizen action to hold duty-bearers at all levels accountable.”
Ken Henshaw, Executive Director of We The People said: “The role of the media is critical in enabling transparency, accountability and citizens participation in governance. This award is designed to promote openness in the Niger Delta, recognizing that more open government systems lead to more responsive governance and improved development outcomes.”
According to the organizers, the inaugural edition of the contest invites journalists across the region to pitch in stories on the state of NDDC projects in the region, provide new data and insights on NDDC interventions, and capture voices of citizens on their experiences and perceptions of the NDDC.