Daily Trust Foundation trains southwest Journalists on budget tracking, data mining

By Maryam Olaniyi

Journalists in Southwest Nigeria have been trained on Budget tracking and data mining to enhance their reporting in order to hold the government accountable.

Organized by the Daily Trust Foundation and funded by MacArthur, the 3-day seminar held in Akure, Ondo State is to assist Nigerian journalists in tracking and investigating the budget and its implementation in the country.

Journalists were urged to improve the quality of the country by tracking the budget, monitoring, implementing and evaluating it.

The Chairman of Daily Trust Foundation, Bilya Bala during his Opening remarks said that what is important after the Nigerian Constitution is budget which makes the entire development of a country rest squarely on the its implementation.

He said, “It’s the responsibility of the media to follow the budget, track it down to see its logical implementation and if it’s not, ask the question of why and let the general public know that this is the constraint if there has been any foul play in the implementation of the country’s budget.

“Our partner, Macarthur Foundation found it necessary to try journalists across the nation so we can follow up on this very importance of governance.

He added, “The expectation from a journalist is that they will do their duty as charged and apply what they have learned in this train to assist them in tracking and investigating the budget and its implementation in the country.”

The Daily Trust Foundation Programme Director, Dr Theophilus Abba who is also a programme director at the Daily Trust Foundation said evil persists because the good man keeps quiet while charging journalists to their responsibilities by investigating matters.

According to him, “Journalists are regarded as the fourth estate of the realm not because they are elected but because Section 22 of the constitution says they should hold the government accountable.

“So journalists are the voices of the people, journalists are the ears and eyes of the people, they express the feelings of the people. Now journalists are supposed to hold the government accountable and how it can be done, by ensuring that whatever the government does is in line with what is in the interest of the people.

“This training on budget tracking is aimed at achieving that objective. One of the theories that we learnt is Agency theory which says that the resources of any particular country are owned by the people so it follows that they must give account to the people.”

” We have been doing this project in all 6 zones of the federation. We are in Abuja in 2021, Northwest in Kano in 2022, and Calabar for south-south journalists. In 2023, we did this training in North Central ( in Ilorin in Kwara state). We had journalists from Kogi, Benue, Nassarawa, Niger, Kwara and Plateau.

Culled from: Idannews.com https://idannews.com/dtf-trains-southwest-journalists-on-budget-tracking-data-mining/

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