By Thompson Yamput
Stallion Times, an NGO, on Wednesday tasked journalists on reporting and tracking budgets implementation by both Federal and State governments to stimulate development.
Mr Isiyaku Ahmed, Editor-in-chief, Stallion Times, gave the challenge during a two-Day Training Workshop on Budget Tracking and Reporting held at Fen Hotel, Lokoja, Kogi.
Ahmed 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.
According to him, “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.”
“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.
He explained that the essence of the training workshop was to awaken the consciousness in journalists about the need to track and report budget implementations for meaningful development in the country.
Ahmed said it was 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.
The NUJ chairman charged participants to take the training seriously, to acquire the necessary knowledge on how to track and report Budgets implementations for the good of the Nigerian public.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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.
While Omokhaye spoke on Pre-Training Assessment and Budget Development Process, Salawu spoke on Budget Mainstreaming in Story Writing. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman