EDWARD Singhatey, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, has charged journalists from across the West African region to be conscious of the link between stability, economic development and integration as they carry out their role of adequately reporting ECOWAS news and events in the region.
Singhatey stated this in Abuja on May 31, at an interactive session with selected young media practitioners who were at the ECOWAS Commission for the Get to Know ECOWAS Programme. He urged the journalists to be alive to trans-national issues of the co-existence of states, also charged them to be more forceful in the reportage of the integration agenda of the regional organisation.
Intimating them with some of the strides made by ECOWAS even as the organisation is on the verge of rolling out more programmes geared towards effective integration, he cited the ECOWAS biometric card system, trans-national road and rail infrastructure, trade liberalisation and greater cooperation and understanding among contiguous states as some of examples in this regard.
Singhatey then fielded questions from journalists on a cross section of issues including the procedure of bringing up cases at the ECOWAS court of justice, institutional reforms, the conditions that warrants ECOWAS’ intervention in member states at periods of political turmoil, the various programmes aimed at poverty reduction in the region as well as the collaboration with the development partners.
The journalists were also put through a variety of trainings with a study tour of the Nigerian National Communications Commission, NCC, for an exposition on Information and Communication Technology, ICT, as a means of integrating people across West Africa, digitization, Internet access and penetration, development of ICT Policy as well as postal and telecommunications issues
Specifically, the NCC’s departmental directors supported Mathew Maganda, head, Human Capital, to give presentations on the dynamics and challenges in regulating the telecoms industry, the role of corporate law and strategy, licensing procedure as well as the role of the NCC in the enhancement of the ICT landscape in Nigeria, among others.