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MRA Inducts Voice of Nigeria into FOI ‘Hall of Shame’

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Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has named the Voice of Nigeria (VON) into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame, accusing it of failing to promote the FOI Act and ensuring its effective implementation as a public service media organisation as well as non-compliance with its obligations under the Act as a public institution.

 

In a statement in Lagos, Mr. Ayode Longe, MRA’s director of Programmes, noted that the Voice of Nigeria, as a national radio station established to inform the world on national issues and developments, should ordinarily be at the forefront of promoting the FOI Act and seeking compliance with the provisions of the Law by other public institutions as this would evidently enhance its performance of its statutory functions as well as enable it discharge its duties with greater ease and effectiveness.

 

He, however, expressed disappointment that the station not only failed to promote the Act or advocate compliance by other public institutions, but has itself refused to comply with its obligations under the Act.

 

The Voice of Nigeria is the second Federal Government-owned media institution to be inducted into the FOI Hall of Shame since the inception of the programme in 2017, following the conferment of the dubious award on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on September 11, 2017 for similarly failing to promote the Act, ensure its effective implementation and for its non-compliance with its obligations under the Act as a public institution.

 

The objectives of the Voice of Nigeria, as provided in the Act establishing it, are to project Nigeria’s positive image externally, to inform the world on national and African issues and developments, to change the perspectives of the world on Nigeria and the black world, to unite Africa and the black world and to engender positive contribution of Africans in the Diaspora to the growth and development of the continent.

 

Mr. Longe said there was no doubt that the institution’s lack of transparency and accountability had eroded public trust and confidence in it, which would affect its credibility and ultimately, its ability to deliver on its statutory mandate.

 

According to him, “being a national radio network broadcasting in seven languages, including English, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, French, Arabic, Kiswahili and Fulfulde, the Voice of Nigeria is uniquely positioned to overcome the language limitation that most other media organizations have and be able to promote the Act among Nigerians of different linguistic backgrounds. Instead, this national broadcaster has itself been consistently in blatant disregard of its statutory duties and obligations as a public institution covered by the Act, thereby undermining its implementation and effectiveness.”

 

Mr. Longe stressed that “all public institutions established by Law, including the Voice of Nigeria, are expected to proactively disclose certain types of information listed in Section 2(3) (a) to (f) of the FOI Act, by various means including print, electronic and online sources. But the Voice of Nigeria has not fulfilled its proactive disclosure obligations under Section 2 of the Act as it has not published the itemized categories of information either on its website or anywhere else, as it is required to do by the FOI Act.”

 

He described the failure of the Voice of Nigeria to designate an official of the institution to whom requests for information by members of the public should be sent as well as its failure to proactively publish the title and address of such an officer as an inexcusable breach of the provisions of the FOI Act, particularly in the light of repeated demands by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation issued to all public institutions to appoint such officials and send their details to the Federal Ministry of Justice, which is the coordinating institution for matters related to the implementation of the Act.

 

Mr. Longe also noted that although Section 13 of the FOI Act requires all public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for their officials on the public’s right to access information and records held by the government or public institutions as well as to ensure the effective implementation of the Act, the Voice of Nigeria had not organized any such training for its officials since the Act was passed into Law.

 

He observed that over the last seven years, the Voice of Nigeria has consistently failed to comply with its obligation under Section 29 of the FOI Act, which requires each public institution to submit to the Attorney-General of the Federation, on or before February 1 of each year, a report covering the preceding fiscal year of its implementation of the Act. He stressed that the Voice of Nigeria had not submitted any such report for any year since 2011.

 

Mr. Longe said: “Such egregious violation of the clear provisions of the Law by a public institution which should know better is certainly unacceptable. The relevant authorities of the Federal Government must make clear that they do not condone such acts of impunity and take urgent steps to rein in public institutions such as the Voice of Nigeria, which disdainfully disregard the Laws of the Land.”

 

Launched on July 3, 2017, the FOI Hall of Shame spotlights on a weekly basis public officials or institutions that are undermining the effectiveness of the FOI Act through their actions, inactions, utterances and decisions.

 

 

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MTV Shuga is Back in Nigeria

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The award-winning drama series returns to Nigeria and seeks fresh talent for the new season.

 

Following the recent premiere of the new season of MTV Shuga Down South in South Africa and the announcement of upcoming campaigns in Cote D’Ivoire and India, MTV Shuga continues to champion conversations about real issues affecting young people using relatable characters and stories that revolve around contraception, sexual health, family planning, gender-based violence and other social issues.

 

MTV Shuga Naija, is a multi-sectorial partnership led by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and is supported by MTV Base Africa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and NGOs.

 

This year’s MTV Shuga Naija TV and radio campaign welcomes award-winning director Tope Oshin as producer.

 

Known for setting the pace for female directors in the Nigerian movie industry, she has earned accolades for her amazing portfolio, featuring movies including, ‘Relentless’, ‘Fifty’, ‘Wedding Party 2’, ‘New Money’, ‘We Don’t Live Here’, and most recently, ‘Up North’.

 

The campaign kicks off with open auditions, which will be held on Thursday, April 4th at the Classique Event Centre, Ikeja Lagos.

 

MTV Shuga has been at the forefront of attracting and developing new acting talent including: Timini Egbuson, Emmanuel Ikubese, Bukola Oladipupo, Helena Nelson and Jemima Osunde; last season’s open auditions attracted over 1700 hopefuls.

 

MTV Shuga Naija would-be actors will be judged by a diverse range of industry experts and selected based on their acting skills and originality.

 

Full information can be found at www.mtvshuga.com/naija This year, applicants are encouraged to pre-register via the MTV Shuga website clicking on the Eventbrite link in the Open Auditions page: http://bit.ly/MTVShugaNaijaAuditions.

 

Registration prior to the auditions gives you fast-tracked access upon arrival at the venue on audition day.

 

Budding actors are encouraged to engage with MTV Shuga Naija via our social platforms @mtvshuganaija on Facebook and Twitter and @mtvshuganaija_ on Instagram using the hashtag #MTVShugaNaijaAuditions

 

Auditions are open to Nigerian residents aged 18+ and will run from 7am – 3pm. Participants will be required to provide one head shot photograph (minimum size 4×6 inches) and a form of photo identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, national ID card or student ID card.

 

Speaking on the auditions for the upcoming series, the Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Georgia Arnold, said, “We are excited to bring back the public auditions for the new season of MTV Shuga Naija.

 

“Our aim is to continue using relatable storytelling to educate and empower young people about social issues like contraception, sexual health, family planning and gender-based violence.

 

“We can’t wait to discover amazing new talent to join the MTV Shuga family!”

 

MTV Shuga remains the gold-standard model for use of mass-media as a vehicle to positively change the behavior of young people.

 

MTV Shuga educates at-risk youth on sexual health and HIV/AIDS awareness, and also ensures that this education is followed through via on-the-ground testing and direction to health services, with proven impact of demand-creation among our audience.

 

Alex Okosi Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks and BET International, said“MTV Shuga provides an important narrative for our African youth with socially relevant content that resonates globally.

 

“This call for auditions is a platform for young talent on the continent to open up the industry with diverse storytelling.”

 

A World Bank evaluation in Nigeria of MTV Shuga highlighted its influence on the sexual and reproductive health decisions of youths via contraceptive use via testing and contraceptive use, showing a 58% reduction in chlamydia among females who had watched MTV Shuga.

 

The new season of MTV Shuga Naija is due to hit screens in September 2019!

 

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Art Meets Music, As Tiger Beer Delights Consumers At AAF’s Maker Lab Exhibition

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World acclaimed lager, Tiger Beer hosted the 2019 edition of African Artists Foundation (AAF) Maker Lab Exhibition in Lagos.

 

The event which held on the 16th of March 2019 at the AAF, Lagos saw Tiger uncage expressions of arts, music and fashion.

 

Borne out of a growing desire to provide a platform where alternative and creative artists can showcase their talents, network and celebrate the dynamism of the African sound, the Maker Lab exhibition is a signature event that has been pivotal in kick starting and supporting the careers of several young artists since its inception.

 

Themed “Yanga”, the exhibition celebrates and promotes young talented visual artists, by allowing them display their craft, interact with other talents and build a fanbase for their art.

Acting as a career springboard for emerging artists, the Maker Lab exhibition on Saturday showcased exhibitors like visual artist Ruby Okoro, documentary photographer, Neec Nonso, emerging singer and music producer, Yinka Bernie, and hyper-realistic painter, Amobi Abeeb Akin.

 

Ruby Okoro who is a visual artist born in Nigeria expresses his emotions and the subconscious through conceptual and vibrant photography which is intrinsic to his practice.

 

He often shoots on the move, taking portraits in transit while documenting projections. Ruby firmly believes in minimalism and portrays this conviction in his work.

 

Documentary photographer, Neec Nonso captures everyday life and its nuances. Working predominantly in digital format, he travels extensively around Nigeria to capture the country’s beauty and diversity, in a bid to challenge stereotypical narratives about Nigeria and the continent at large.

 

Yinka Bernie, who is an emerging singer and music producer, explores sound as a tool of social engagement using a sound cocoon, while Amobi Abeeb Akin who is a hyper-realistic painter created a wall installation, using white chalk on a black wall.

Speaking on the success of the event, Chinwe Greg-Egu, Brand Manager, International brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said, “We are truly excited to sponsor  this year’s Maker Lab exhibition, themed “Yanga”.

 

“It’s a great time in the art industry as creatives are steady challenging societal norms, transforming fashion and truly being appreciated on a large scale.

 

“As a brand, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a creative center where variants of art can truly be expressed, provide professional and non-professional artists and youths a place to celebrate their own talent and artistry”

 

Tiger Beer was launched in Nigeria back in April 2018 and has already made giant strides in the Nigerian beer market. Its unveiling was part of a captivating initiative which saw Nigerian celebrities face and conquer their fears, as the brand sought to communicate its unique brand messaging “Uncage”.

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Heineken Launches Limited Edition Bottles

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International premium lager beer, Heineken will be launching UEFA Champions League limited edition bottles to further celebrate the 2018/2019 season.

 

The new bottles will highlight the brand’s partnership with UEFA as the participation in the competition, as it takes place every week.

 

This football inspired special edition bottles carry the bold red star crest while mirroring the UEFA Champions League Trophy, representing club football’s most illustrious accolade, with a green backdrop which represents Heineken and the UEFA Champions League.

 

Commenting on the special edition Heineken bottle design, Emmanuel Oriakhi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said, “Heineken has been a big part of football for the last 25 years, particularly by sponsoring the UEFA Champions League.

 

“During this time, we have been giving our fans the opportunity to connect with club football’s biggest competition, while also rewarding their passion by taking some lucky few to Europe in the past.

 

“The launch of the special edition bottles is just another way of delivering on the brand promise.”

 

Heineken, has been a long-standing sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994.

 

This illustrious collaboration with club football’s biggest and most watched competition has seen Heineken become one of the most recognizable brands in the world of football.

 

Over the Last 25 years, we’ve seen the brand share the passion of the beautiful game while bringing all the most remarkable and Unmissable Moments from the competition to fans around the world.

 

Through the course of the UEFA Champions League season, Heineken has continued its remarkable tradition of celebrating the beautiful game with fans, bringing all the action from Europe to Nigerians more than 5,000 miles away with its premium viewing experiences.

 

The brand has also begun rewarding lucky football fans and brand loyalists with the opportunity to see live matches from the semifinals and finals of the competition in Europe.

 

The core focus for Heineken is to bring unique experiences to fans of UEFA Champions League in Nigeria.

 

As the most prestigious platform for European football stars, this premier-sporting event has become global and fits perfectly with the Heineken brand.

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