Financial experts at PwC Nigeria have tasked journalists on quality news reporting of economic data and indices, saying the ability of journalists to do research and investigate facts beyond the governments’ figures symbolises the professional excellence.
The experts spoke at the company’s second edition of annual Capability Enhancement Workshop for journalists held virtually on Wednesday.
The workshop, according Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal policy Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at PwC in his opening remarks, “is a demonstration of our strong belief that for the Nigerian people to enjoy good governance, the media must perform its role optimally and professionally and this is reflected in the quality of reporting, in the capacity of individual journalists to carry out research and investigations, in the independence of editorial judgments, and in their ability to use technology as an enabler.”
He added that “as a firm, we have been supporting various stakeholders in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and this is one of such interventions.”
In his presentation on “Economic sustainability: Tracking and Reporting the Metrics that Matter,” Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, Partner and Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria, said financial journalists must learn to hold governments accountable of their economic policy pronouncements by “providing sufficient context or insights.”
“He pointed participants to track key metrics such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other policy pronouncements of governments which they can use to benchmark their analysis of NBS statistics and enrich their general reporting on the economy.”
In his presentation titled “CAMA 2020, Nigeria’s competitiveness and ease of doing business,” Taiwo Oyedele, stated the need for the government to harmonise CAMA with other laws such as the Companies Income Tax Act which still requires audited accounts by all companies regardless of size.
According to Oyedele “more flexibility is required for foreign companies who wish to operate business in Nigeria such that a branch registration should be permitted while incorporating a subsidiary will be optional.
“It is also necessary to ensure that the new law is kept under constant review with more frequent amendments or re-enactment say every five years,” he added.
Emphasizing the clarity of thought and expression as foundations for excellent reporting, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Editor-in-Chief at Stears Business, noted that in times of uncertainty, trustworthy reporting becomes even more important than the speed to break the news.
Afikuyomi, who facilitated a session on “Journalism and the new normal: challenges and opportunities,” said “with the shift to digital platforms by consumers, reporters must balance the rush to be the first to publish with providing factual information written from a unique angle that adds value to the readers.”
The capacity enhancement workshop precedes the award gala-nite for the announcement of winners of this year’s PwC Media Excellence Awards, which is scheduled to hold virtually on Friday 2 October 2020.