Expose corrupt activities in extractive sector, BudgIT charges journalists
A civic organisation, BudgIT, has asked the media to be proactive in investigating government activities in the extractive sector towards uncovering and preventing corrupt practices.
The organisation gave the charge in Calabar during one-day media training on Investigative Journalism, in partnership with Oxfam.
Speaking on the significance of the training, Communications Associate of BUDGIT Foundation, Iyanu Fatoba, called on journalists to beam searchlight on government activities to forestall corrupt practices from thriving in government agencies.
Fatoba stressed the need for government to back its resolution on accountability with credible action to ensure transparency and open governance.
She said: “We need to beam our searchlight more on the extractive industry because a lot of things are going on in that industry, resources are being mismanaged; people are not declaring contracting processes and the story is not being told.
“If government is saying that it is open, citizens need to see the action plan; there is no appropriate mechanism to track progress, the oversight institution is poor, the process is not something that one can easily understand or address. Those are the things that encourage open government and transparency.
“If Nigeria is losing millions of dollars to illicit financial flows, the repercussions always fall back on citizens through cost and funding that can be pushed back into the economy.”
Senior Media and Communication Design Head, Kehinde Agbaje, urged the media to hold government accountable through proper investigative journalism, noting that the profession owes such a duty to citizens of Nigeria.
According to Agbaje, the orgainsation plans to train 5,000 journalists in the next five years on investigative journalism.
“Journalists should know their role in the nation. You should not be moved by politicians, you should do your job with objectivity.
Journalists should know that we would not have a Nigeria if they don’t hold public office holders to account. When government is transparent, they build trust with citizens and our duty as BudgIT is to enlighten the citizens on this,” he said.