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NewsReport: Experts Suggest Ways Out of Eroding Public Trust in Nigeria

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virtual conference
Quotes from Speakers:
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe: (the role of Government)
The issue of trust in public institutions is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as many countries around the world are also under pressure to meet rising citizens expectations. She however stated that the Kaduna Government has rebuilt trust by providing functioning primary healthcare centres, laying-off incompetent teachers and revamping the education system in the State. She noted that signing up with the Open Government Partnership has also fostered the state’s culture of transparency and accountability.
Dr Amina Salihu (on the role of Civil Society)
Trust is earned as a result of being accountable, responsive and capable and civil society organisations are strategic pathfinders who need to enable citizens to recognise their right to access basic needs and improved public services and how they can use their voice and actions to drive change.
Dr Joe Abah (on the role of citizens and other issues):
The decline in trust is traceable to a number of things and reasons, and issues like the current corruption allegations in NDDC awarding billions to themselves in so called COVID- palliatives will continue to dispel public trust.
Mr Fisayo Soyombo: On the role of the media
Although the media has a huge responsibility to play, the Government has the bulk of the job. He added that people who want trust have to earn it.
Most of the things that we consume as news are actually PR. This shows that journalists are being manipulated especially because they are not well paid. Government must be responsible for providing better governance, the media must ensure that public institutions are not deceiving citizens by engaging more investigative reporting. While stressing the need for more investigative reporting, he called on the public to support good journalism especially with funding. “If we want a media that is more alive, people have to support good journalism.” He also encouraged journalists to be objective in their reports. He noted that we need a value-reorientation in this country.
Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive, Connected Development:
In 2019, what we learnt engaging government MDAs post elections informed our overall objective at Connected Development (CODE), which was to begin a campaign that was intended to increase trust among citizens and government. CODE’s strategy was to create platforms for informed debate between public institutions and citizens and also advocate for more government agencies to leverage digital communications to foster trust, increase transparency and ensure better accountability. This has led us to organise this conference that seeks to increase conversations and raise citizens and government’s consciousness towards rebuilding trust.


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