LOKOJA – Mrs Esther Agbon, the Coordinator, Action Aid Governance, has identified the major challenges being faced by media practitioners in reporting budgets in the country.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Sunday shortly after Action Aid Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation, organised a two-day training for finance correspondents on budget reporting.
Agbon said the major problems confronting journalists in reporting budgets include poor skills in analysis, access to information, the lack of finance to conduct independent monitoring of capital projects, among others.
The coordinator added that the organisation was of the opinion that if reporters were properly trained on best practices in budget monitoring, it would be easy for them to inform the general public effectively.
She hoped that the training given to reporters from 17 media organisations would help them to properly engage the government at all levels in the execution of budgets.
She said “sequel to a roundtable with media practitioners on budget reporting in 2013, it was identified that finance correspondents faced various challenges in reporting budget.
“In response to this, ActionAid planned a series of workshops to address these gaps.
“This is the second and concluding part of the workshop on Budget Analysis, Monitoring and Reporting and we have a total of 17 media houses represented.
“The training exposed journalists to the different types of classification of budgets, types of analysis and different methods that could be used in budget monitoring.’’
This, she said, would encourage transparency and accountability in the implementation of budget in the country.
She expressed the hope that the training would help to enhance the reporting on budget in the media.
“It is expected that henceforth, finance correspondents would report budgets with deeper understanding and analysis,” she said.
The two-day workshop treated topics such as review of budget concept, budget monitoring, expenditure tracking, budget and creative communication approach, among others. (NAN)