The BBC has opened an official news bureau in Lagos, which will serve as the home for three new services in Nigerian language Igbo, Pidgin and Yoruba regions.
The new bureau can host up to 200 people and features a TV studio and two radio studios. It follows the biggest expansion to the BBC World Service since the 1940s.
The move means the BBC’s international news will now be available in five languages across Nigeria, where it claims an audience of 36m – its largest in any country.
The BBC’s investment in Nigeria has created over 100 jobs in Lagos and the corporation says it will launch a new mentorship and internship programme to recruit the next generation of West African talent.
The bureau will be led by the BBC’s head of West Africa Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, a former investigative journalist who will manage BBC Afrique, Hausa, Igbo, Pidgin and Yoruba.
Ogunseye siad: “It’s a great honour to be part of this expansion and I’m so proud to be leading the teams in Nigeria.
“We will big on original journalism that impacts the lives of Nigerians at home and abroad. We are expanding our editorial offer to cover politics, culture, business, health, investigations, among others.
“We will focus more on young people and women, ensuring that we cover Nigeria and the whole of West Africa like never before. We’ll remain true to our ideals and values of objectivity, truth and impartiality.”
The BBC also announced that it would be partnering with Nigerian news outlet Channels Television on Connect Africa as part of the move and will air a new English language current affairs programme, set to launch later this year.
It will also launch new programming for Africa this year in English, Hausa, French and Swahili, with some of the TV teams joining the Lagos bureau.
BBC World Service director Jamie Argus added: “It’s wonderful to be here to open this bureau, which will be the headquarters for our operation across West Africa.
“It will be a beacon for our journalism and as such I am delighted to announce our mentorship and internship scheme for up-and-coming journalists.
“This is part of BBC’s contribution to the growth of media best practice and professionalism in Nigeria, and the fight against fake news – and we’ll benefit from the young journalists’ insight into West Africa.
“The World Service delivers accurate, impartial and independent news to all countries. We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of your world.
“We promise to remain your most trusted source of news in the years to come.”
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