Nigeria: 20 Journalists Receive Grants for Investigative Reports On Corruption

5 August 2020

A total of 20 journalists have received grants aimed for investigative reports and research on corruption and tracing of illicit assets.

The grants were provided by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with Cornerhouse, Finance Uncovered, Premium Times Centre for Investigative journalism and University of Kent, London.

The project is funded by Open Society Initiative for West Africa, (OSIWA)/OSF and MacArthur foundation.

A statement issued yesterday by HEDA Resource Centre signed by its Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju recalled that earlier in March the consortium had called for application from interested persons for the anti- corruption grant for investigative reporting and research.

At the end of the application process, a total number of 45 applicants expressed their interest in the grant.

After review by a technical team, 20 applicants were selected for the grant.

Journalists were selected based on quality of applications submitted.

Successful applicants submitted a three-month investigation work-plan, potential total cost of investigation with a realistic and verifiable budget.

"The grant for anti-corruption investigative reporting and research is designed to empower journalists, activists, citizens as well as actors within the private and public sectors towards engaging in demand for accountability, probity and transparency through research, monitoring and reporting corruption, money laundering, noxious assets and illicit financial flow in and out of the country."

According to the groups, the aim is to engender sustained awareness and engagement in dealing with corruption issues, illicit financial flow, money laundering and expose inadequacies in the financial system of some of the countries of destination.

HEDA partnered other civil society and media organisations (Cornerhouse, Finance Uncovered, Premium Times Centre for Investigative journalism and University of Kent) in engaging local anti-corruption agencies and international mechanisms (Unexplained Wealth Order of the UK and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Nigeria and Dubai) in tracing noxious funds and stolen assets for effective and timely freezing and recovery of such assets.

The successful applicants were contacted after the relaxation of the lockdown in the country many of who have commenced investigation on chosen corruption stories.

The grant will last for a period of three months and all applicants are expected to submit the report of their findings after the stipulated time.

The report of the investigation will be published on various newspapers and online media.

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