Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tracking Constituency Projects – Experts Train Journalists, CSOs in Kogi State

A two-day training session for Journalists, CSOs and Media personals in Lokoja, Kogi State, was organized by Stallion Times Media Services, the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalists, and financially supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

This is part of the “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve Project (G-DRIP)”, with support from Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the
Collaborative Media Project which is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

During the training, Mr. Henry Omokhaye, a specialist in constituency project tracking, has shed more light on constituency projects in Nigeria and called for their effective implementation under the close watch of civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media.

Although the idea of constituency projects is commendable, the expert claimed that the way they were being executed in a way that lacks value for the people they were intended to help.

He revealed that in order to change the narrative, ICPC developed a mechanism called Constituency Project Tracking Group (CPTG) in 2019.

The process of constituency projects, according to Omokhaye, a Budgit staff, is marked by irregularities such as duplication of projects, using the same description, same story, same sum, same place, and awarded by the same agency.”

Omokhaye revealed that CPTG recovered over N2billion, which is made up of money collected and reclaimed from unfinished projects.

The expert pointed out that some legislators are typically unaware of the locations of constituency projects, and that the ranking of the states where such projects are to be located is determined by the number of primary officers that each state has at the national assembly.

A Media Expert and Editor-in-Chief at Stallion Times Media Services, Mr. Isiyaku Ahmed explained to the participants the role of the media, and how it can be used as a powerful tool for advocacy. He also demonstrated to the audience, how to make use of the New media in the process of tracking Constituency projects.

Get your tracking report ready and talk to the lawmakers or their staff,” he advised.

Among other things, the media and CSOs in Kogi state are encouraged to engage in sensitization to change the narrative for the best outcome.

The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, organized the workshop, the final of its kind for 2022, which was financed by the MacArthur Foundation.