The International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) Abuja held its maiden matriculation ceremony at the National Centre for Women Development on Saturday [2 June 2012]. Interestingly, as important as the event is to the students, the management of institute and all stakeholders alike, it avails the nation the opportunity of not only reflecting on the need for training and retraining of journalists in Nigeria, but also appreciating their immense contributions to the task of nation-building over the years.
Surely, there are many ways to appreciate journalists concerning all their sacrifices for a better Nigeria. Much as the list of these ways may be inexhaustible if it were to be given, it is a putative view that the environmental formative aspect of training and/or retraining journalists has a way of leaving an enduring impact in the learning and practice of journalism, in the long run.
Of course, a situation whereby the matriculating students of the institute are impelled, by the interplay of past and present circumstances in the history of their school, to resort to the belief (rightly or wrongly) that the leadership of their country has little or no regard for their learning environment for whatever perceived or imagined reason(s), no doubt, is not encouraging and does not really help the society either.
And this is particularly odd considering the fact that the Fourth Estate in Nigeria (which also includes the above students) is not only discharging its duties creditably as the major, if not the only vociferous, conscience of the nation, but also as the last hope of the common man, especially in this era of frequently occurring crisis of confidence and confusion in the judiciary.
More so, the situation is by no means less worrisome considering, again, the seemingly vague disposition of the federal and state governments as well as the non-governmental organisations and private rich individuals towards the needs of the institute. No doubt, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) whose sole responsibility it is to fund the institute has, so far, fared well.
But the obvious need not be stated that journalists, either as individuals or a group, are hardly known for possessing enormous wealth that could easily turn around their present state of affairs vis-à-vis the building and completion of their Institute at its permanent site in Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Abuja.
But be that as it may, the effort of the FCT administration, and perhaps the federal government, in the area of allocation of land for the permanent site of the institute, is highly commendable.Source: allAfrica.