IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
To stimulate development, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Stallion Times, has engaged Journalists in Lokoja, Kogi state, on reporting and tracking budgets implementation by both Federal and State governments.
At a two day training workshop, Mr Isiyaku Ahmed, Editor in Chief, Stallion Times, expressed regrets that most journalists in Nigeria were not doing enough to track and report budget implementations in the country which gave room for corruption and under development in some states in Nigeria.
“Until journalists rise to the occasion at tracking constituency projects and reporting overall budget implementations, there can never be any meaningful development in our communities”. The Editor in Chief stated.
“Budgets are meant to bring about growth and development in our communities but as long as the citizens including us, Journalists, are not interested in what happens after budgets are passed, the desired results will definitely elude us, ” he said.
Mr Ahmed explained that the training workshop was organised to arose the consciousness in journalists on the need to track and report budget implementations for meaningful development in the country.
He said it is expected that after the training, Kogi journalists should be seen probing on most of the constituency projects in the state to report their execution or non execution in the interest of the common masses.
Earlier, Chairman of Kogi Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Momoh Adeiza-Jimoh, described the training workshop as “apt and very timely” in view of the lack lustre attitude of journalists on that aspect.
Adeiza-Jimoh said, ” the topic of this training workshop is very apt and timely as it will at the end impact on us and build our capacities as journalists to do our job well.
“It’s unfortunate that we have been going to House of Assembly for budget passages but thereafter hardly go for follow ups as to how the budgets are being implemented by the state government, ” he lamented.
He therefore charged participants to take the training seriously, to acquire the necessary knowledge on how to track and report Budget implementations for the good of the Nigerian public.
Two Resource Persons,
Mr Henry Omokhaye and Mr Steven Salawu took turns to enlighten the participating journalists on what budget stands for and it’s importance to a nation.
Omokhaye spoke on Pre-Training Assessment and Budget Development Process, while Salawu dwelt on Budget Mainstreaming in Story Writing.