An advanced business reporting course sponsored by FBN Holdings, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and FBN Bank Ghana has ended in Accra, Ghana.
The capacity building course for senior journalists drew participants from across the print, electronic and online media with the purpose of exposing Nigerian journalists to international best practices in business reporting.
The training programme provided an opportunity for Nigerian journalists to meet their Ghanaian counterparts and share thoughts and experiences on the future of the media industry in Africa and beyond.
This was accomplished through scheduled visits to the state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Today Newspaper – a member of a privately owned media empire in Ghana.
In view of growing business links between Nigeria and Ghana, business reporters need to constantly look beyond the borders.
The training was designed to enable Nigerian journalists establish useful contacts that would enhance their capacity for the job.
From practical experiences and contacts, participants took up an investigative study on an exchange rate puzzle between the Nigerian naira and the Ghanaian cedi.
The cedi exchanges at c4.3 to the US dollar against the naira’s N360 to the US dollar.
Yet, the naira commands far higher purchasing value than the cedi in a ratio of roughly 3.3 to 1.
Responding to participants’ enquiry, Prof Godfred Bokpin, an economist at University of Ghana Business School, said Nigeria’s higher domestic productive capacity than Ghana offers its citizens a greater value for a unit of the naira than the cedi does to Ghanaians.
He said this situation has been further boosted by the stimulatory effect of the restrictive foreign exchange policy of the Nigerian central bank on domestic production.
The exclusion of 41 items from the eligibility list of imports for the purpose of official funding as well as increasing emphasis on agricultural output have spurred increased productivity in the Nigerian economy.
Bokpin said this is helping to bring down inflation rate in Nigeria though Nigeria’s domestic inflation is higher than that of Ghana, which hovers around 12%.
The Managing Director/CEO FBN Bank Ghana Ltd, Gbenga Odeyemi, said currency exchange rate reflects the various external relationships as they affect a country’s currency and these differ significantly between countries; while the purchasing value of the currency in the domestic market reflects the internal productivity of the local currency.
The training faculty included established names in the Ghanaian media with rich exposure in international news reporting.
These included Mr. James MaCauley, a media consultant, who until recently was deputy editor at Ghanaian Times – one of the two leading newspapers in the country.
Mr. Francis Kokutse, a seasoned journalist and West Africa correspondent for a number of international media organisations also imparted his wealth of international exposure in news reporting.
Kokutse, who until last September was a member of the board of Ghana News Agency, writes for the Indian-based Indo Asian News Service and Bloomberg/BNA, covering transfer pricing and data protection across Africa.
He has also reported for Kenyan-based Daily Nation, Dow Jones News Wires, Wall Street Journal, South Africa-based Inter Press Service, among others.