INEC News Bulletin
INEC BUILDS CAPACITY OF MANAGEMENT STAFF ON EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AHEAD OF 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS
As part of effors to enhance the communication skills of top level management officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead the 2019 General Elections, the Commission has put together a two-day Retreat on Media/ Public Relations and Public Speaking Techniques skills in Lagos.
The Retreat was supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Speaking at the Retreat, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, noted that effective communication was key to the successful conduct of 2019 General Elections and underscore the importance of good communication skills.
“As a Commission we believe that we are often the first source of information and we must be able to communicate more and not only communicate more, but also communicate better.
“You cannot conduct the business of election without constantly communicating.
“I guess there is nothing we can do about mischief makers but there is a way we can address this problem. We believe that by inviting professionals in the Media business to talk to us, we are taking the right steps towards addressing this important issue. We want to hear from you (the Resource Persons) on how we can more effectively communicate without the risk of being misunderstood or misrepresented” .
Earlier in a welcome address the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Lagos, Mr Sam Olumekun, said it was important for INEC to develop the capacity of its officers who serve as a bridge of communication between the Commission and the stakeholder, the public.
He said “The importance of communication as an effective tool in any organization cannot be over-emphasized. Therefore, in INEC the importance of communication cannot be over emphasized, either internal or external communications”.
Explaining the purpose of the workshop, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the Commission did not treat its reputation with kid gloves and gave the objectives of the retreat: “This retreat is intended to, among other things; take us through the techniques of engaging productively with the media to achieve our common goals. It also seeks to acquaint us with the importance of public relations and how we can apply the tools to achieve specific objectives.’’
In his goodwill remarks, The Project Director, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Mr. David Notre, said it was also important for all media organizations to have at their disposal, adequate information on the processes and procedures of the Commission at all time.
Mr. Notre maintained that such effort would give room for fair and effective media coverage of the electoral process.
He said: “The media whether print or electronic has the capacity of ensuring a peaceful and credible elections as conflict sensitive information that can trigger election violence must be well managed, ” .
The Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), Shalva Kipshidze, represented by Mr Seray Jah on his part, described media as critical partner in dissemination voter information in an election year and reporting on electoral activities and of his organizations sustained support towards conducting free, fair and credible elections.
On the first day of the workshop, Papers were presented by Dr. Rotimi Oladele, Immediate Past President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Mr. Tony Akiotu, Group Managing Director, African International Television; Mrs. Funke Egbemode, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors; Dr. Mansur Liman, Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; Prof. Abigail Ogwessy-Ndisika Dept of Mass Communication, University of Lagos.
Editor-in-Chief: Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi
Editor: Aliyu M. Bello
Reporter: Nathaniel Audu Gana
Technical Support: Bala Ato Agyo