It has been observed that abandoned reserves in the North East and other parts of the country served as a breading grounds for terrorists and other criminal elements.
Speaking during the training, Dr. Terfa Abraham, Research Fellow/Economist, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, (NILDS), opined that if those reserves were put into proper use, criminals wouldn’t have any hiding place.
The training was Organized by ActionAid Nigeria with funding from, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF), held at the Sawalino Hotel, Keffi, in Nasarawa state.
He therefore called on the Federal and state governments to urgently retake these reserves and make it functional, so as to disallowed it from being used by criminal elements.
The economic expert also faulted budget preparation and implementation in Nigeria, saying that budget proposals are often based on unrealistic parameters which makes each budget unrealizable.
The training is one in the series of training to build the capacity of journalists towards 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.
According to him the Nigerian budget proposal is usually based on expected revenue, saying that the country over time have not been able to meet it’s expected revenue generation, hence making it difficult for full implementation of the budgets.
Participants were unanimous on the fact that, budget processes in Nigeria are not participatory, making it non inclusive and difficult to track, but however resolve to pursue among other things, the utilization in relation to what was released.
Speaking earlier, the Country Director, Ene Obi, said that the essence of the training is to build the capacity of journalists to be able to embark on, investigative writing as well as budget analysis and tracking.
The CD who was represented by ActionAid Director, Organizational Effectiveness, Fumilayo Oyefusi, maintained that journalists must go beyond the ordinary day to day story writing, by embarking on investigative stories.
In doing so, Obi stressed that journalists must be guided by the ethics and the rules guiding the 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, to ensure the success of the project.