Group tasks journalists on budget monitoring, reporting

Participants at the  two-day workshop on budget process held in Lokoja, Kogi State

Participants at the two-day workshop on budget process held in Lokoja, Kogi State

By Richard Elesho

Media practitioners have been charged to show more enthusiasm and participation in the budget process of governments at every level in the country.

The charge was given in Lokoja, Kogi State, at a two-day workshop for journalists held on Wednesday, 4 and Thursday, 5 August, 2022.

Organised by Stallion Times, a Kano based media group with Support from McArthur Foundation and Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, the workshop focused on budget monitoring and reporting.

Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Stallion Times, Isiyaku Ahmed emphasized the need for members of the fourth estate of the realm to be equipped with relevant knowledge about budgets before they can educate others.

“You cannot give what you don’t have. You must be properly informed by following the process, before you can inform others,” he said.

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He further tasked participants to use the Freedom of Information Act while gathering materials on the reports.

One of the resource persons, Henry Omokhaye, of the Budget Foundation, dwelt on Budget Development Process and advised journalists to strengthen institutional and individual capacity to enable them turn out stories that will expose sharp practices in budget implementation.

He took participants round details of how budgets are prepared from conception, approval, implementation and report stages. He also shed light on the concept of Constituency Projects otherwise known as Zonal Intervention Projects, ZIP, explaining how they can be monitored or tracked.

A veteran Journalist Steve Salawu interacted with the participants on Investigative and impactful journalism. He said such reports may expose policy incoherence, expose corruption or strengthen good governance.

He advised journalists to always make use of the inverted Pyramid style to anchor their stories. He also cautioned them to be security conscious and mindful on their environment each time they go on field work.

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