Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture plans to invite officials of the Al-Jazeera Training & Development Centre to Nigeria for a training need assessment for journalists and photographers at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
The Nigerian Minister disclosed this during his recent visit to Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Centre in Doha, Qatar, in what was described as a furtherance of his efforts to forge a training and development collaboration with the international news network.
The Minister, who was conducted round the facility by Mr. Mounir Daymi, Director as well as other officials of the centre, said the training and re-training of journalists are very important because the media industry is very dynamic.
“We want a brand new television station that will be among the best in the world and it is possible”, the Minister said noting that the planned collaboration between the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as the Qatari TV station will also give journalists from the government-owned broadcasting stations opportunities to be attached to Al Jazeera for a few weeks under an exchange programme that will be mutually-beneficial to both.
Mohammed said the performance of the public-funded media establishments has been affected by lack of adequate attention to training, programming and infrastructure over the years.
The Minister added that he is not satisfied with the performance of the government-owned media establishments to underscore the need to reposition them for better efficiency and increased competitiveness.
The Training and Development Centre, which is situated in a different location from the Al Jazeera Headquarters complex, boasts of state-of-the-art studios, complete with video walls, classrooms and control rooms, among others.
Aljazeera’s Daymi said whereas the Centre was set up primarily to train Al Jazeera journalists, it has also extended training to journalists from outside the station “as part of efforts to transfer the knowledge acquired by Al Jazeera over the past 20 years.”
According to him, the Centre has trained about 30,000 journalists, mostly from the Middle East but also from China and some countries in Africa, among others, in its 12 years of existence.