Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

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The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) has revealed that it has procured, delivered and is currently installing hardware and software to set up a National Media Monitoring Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Giving a goodwill message during the training of INEC staff on media monitoring in Abuja on Monday, ECES’s Co-ordination Advisor/Electoral Administration expert, Manji Wilson, said that the training represents another element of its support to INEC’s extremely active media, communications and outreach strategy.
“This week’s training has the objective of introducing you to the basic skills and techniques used in media monitoring that will contribute to improving the commission’s internal and external engagements with stakeholders.
“It is aimed at providing accurate information for a timely response to emerging issues in the entire polity through qualitative and quantitative data collection, processing, analysis and reporting throughout the commission.
“Also, following the  recommendations of the European Union Observation Mission to Nigeria, 2015 and 2019, ECES has procured, delivered and is currently installing hardware and software that will in a few days metamorphose into the National Media Monitoring Centre here at the INEC headquarters (Annex).
“The skills and expertise you acquire from this workshop will be crucial to strengthening this centre. Further support will be considered in due course to expand the scope of ECES interventions to the INEC Media monitoring set-up beyond headquarters.
“The European Centre for Electoral Support is committed to strengthening and deepening the democratic process in Nigeria through the implementation of the EU-SDGN programme – Component 1.
“I would like to thank the European Union for its trust, support and consistent funding to ECES, allowing the organisation to implement programmes which deliver electoral assistance and contribute to democracy and good governance globally,” he said.
Responding in his welcome address, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, commended the collaborative partnership with ECES.
“This programme is aimed at increasing our understanding of new issues, challenges and possibilities in the media and how to harness such possibilities and arrest negative perception relating to the work of the commission and building a positive image for the commission and its work.
“The commission appreciates the collaborative partnership existing between it and ECES targeted at strengthening the processes of the commission, promoting Nigeria’s electoral process and deepening our democracy.
“The establishment of a world-class Media Monitoring Centre at the INEC headquarters is no doubt a testimony to this collaborative effort. We assure our partners that the commission and its staff will make good use of the facilities at the media monitoring centre to promote the work of the commission and in the process enhance its image,” he assured.