Nestle Nigeria ends training with call for more environmental conscious reportage

By Felicia Nwosu, Abimbola Mohammed and Ibidunni Banjoko
Nestle advancing Nutrition, Health and Environmental Awareness Programme, held in collaboration with Lagos Business School (LBS) Sustainability Centre, has come to a memorable close for this year, after two weeks of intensive drilling, engaging, and interactive online classes via zoom, with a three-day in-person sessions.
The educative programme ended with excitement, career fulfillment and a call for journalists to be more conscious in advancing nutrition, health and environmental issues in their reportage for sustainability of humankind and nature.
The programme, under the training period, acquainted the participants on various key listed topics by several industry experts. These include Environmental Stewardship: Exploring the impact of industry and economic consumption patterns, taught by Dr. Eugene Itua, CEO Natural Eco Capital, The Impact of Changing Environment and Climate: Agriculture, Food Security & Health in Nigeria, Data Analysis for Impactful Journalism and many more.
To spice up the training, there was also an experiential tour to Lufasi Park, anchored by Theresa Akpoveso, Senior Associate Sustainability Centre, where a short presentation on emerging issues in environmental sustainability was tackled by Desmond Majekodunmi, Environmental Activist and Founder.
For the in-person, ensured designated buses were provided to pick up in-Lagos participants from both mainland and island to ameliorate the challenge of hike in transportation fare, as Nestle assisted with commuting to and fro the LBS Campus. To ensure that participants enjoyed their stay comfortably, the company also reserved some  cosy hotels close to the campus for every participant.
The programme came to a close with the presentation of certificates to participants and other awards of recognition to encourage active participation.
Speaking with MARKETING EDGE at the end of the programme, Victoria Uwadoka, Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Nestle Nigeria, highlighted that the essence of the programme was to provide information, new data, new innovations and basically an update on steps to address the challenges for nutrition, health, and for environment.
Uwadoka revealed that about 100 journalists participated which include some journalists from  MARKETING EDGE.

She attested to the paradigm shift introduced by  the programme and how it has evolved with impact over the years with quality result to show for it.

“With the understanding that the media is very critical to achieve those objectives, we collaborated with the Lagos Business School to develop this programme to really share this information with the media because we know that if equipped adequately, the media is in the best position to help change mindsets, perceptions, behaviours through effective communications. What we have seen through the years is that there has been improvement in the quality of reporting, in the quality of research and we have also seen more use of data.
“Right now we get people coming in, journalists coming in to ask questions around what information that they find out there, to actually verify the facts from research and dig deeper into stories. We have had some journalists travel to some of our project sites at their own volition to investigate what we have said that we are doing at Nestle. And I think that’s very important, investigative journalism is very important. And you know that in addition to this training, we have the annual awards.
“Year on year, we have seen an improvement in the quality of the entries for the awards. So, have we seen an improvement? Yes. Quality of writing, also more focus on impact, more focus on results, not just on the problem solutions, you know journalism as we speak about. We are not yet where we should be, but we are getting there,” she Uwadoka explained.
Some of the participants who shared their experiences and benefits of the programme in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE said the programme has helped to change their orientation about environmental reportage.
For Obina Ndurie, a journalist from News Pointer, it was an eye-opener as well as a call for more action. He noted that it has increased his knowledge on environmental matters as a journalist.
“This programme has really opened my eyes to what we are facing and the imminent danger that lies ahead if we do not take action fast by emphasizing the need for change of attitude towards the environment. It is a call to begin to see the need to change how we used to handle this issue in the time past. It calls for a stronger sensitization across the board,” he said.
Semidayo Anthony, a journalist with Lagos Traffic radio, said it has stimulated in her the dire need to fight to save and preserve the environment with her storytelling prowess.
“It has been an amazing journey, starting from online to the physical class. It’s been eye-opening and it has been an intellectual gathering. Learning from the professionals in the field and taking our minds to the things we overlooked. Because I can’t say it’s new to a lot of us, just that we have overlooked a lot of things. So, the things we overlooked as Nigerians and even as journalists, our eyes are now open to them. Our narrative has to change. We have to push it out there that we are killing our system, we are killing our environment and we need to do better,” she stated.


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