ActionAid training: Participants call for realistic budget in Nigeria

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Participants at the ongoing Two-day Media Master class training in Keffi, Nasarawa state, have stressed the need for realistic budget across the three tiers of government to ensure implementable budget in the country.

Duaglobalnews reports that ActionAid Nigeria with funding from, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) organised the training for journalists practising in Kogi and Nasarawa states.

According to the organisers, the exercise is meant to build the capacity of journalists toward the implementation of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project in 12 local government areas in Kogi and Nasarawa states.

One of the participants, Dr Terfa Abraham, said experience had shown that budget preparation in the country was usually based on expected revenue.

He noted that invariably, the country had not been able to meet it’s expected revenue generation, hence the basis of not been able to fully implement budgets, over time.

Abraham and his colleagues also expressed concern that
budget in Nigeria lacked participatory processes, a development they argued made the proposals non inclusive and difficult to track.

The participants, however resolve to pursue among other things, implementation of budgetary released in relation to projects it was meant to execute.

Speaking earlier, the Country Director, (CD),Ene Obi, hoped that the experience and knowledge garnered during the training would go along way in building the capacity of journalists to enable them embark on investigative writing, engage in budget analysis as well as tracking.

The CD, represented by ActionAid Director, Organisational Effectiveness, Fumilayo Oyefusi, urged journalists to go beyond the ordinary day to day story writing, by embarking on investigative stories.

Obi said in doing,journalists must be guided by the ethics and the rules guiding their profession, by being objective, factual, accurate and data based.

On how to craft data stories and finding great stories in data, Mojeed Alabi, Deputy Head, Investigations with Premium Times, highlighted six essentials of data journalism to include, finding data, getting the data, verifying the data, cleaning the data Analysing the data and presenting the data.

Anicentus Atakpu, Project Coordinator, SARVE 2 project and Lola Ayanda, Communications Coordinator, ActionAid Nigeria, stressed the need for more collaboration between the media and ActionAid Nigeria for the success of the project.

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