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Daily Trust boss urges journalists to pay attention to states, LGAs

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Alhaji Bilya Bala, Chairman of the Daily Trust Foundation, on Wednesday called on journalists to pay more attention to the states and local government areas in ensuring accountability.

Bala made the call in Calabar at a three- day workshop on budget tracking and investigating public expenditure, from Aug. 2 to 4, organised by the foundation and
supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

The chairman said the call became necessary because most financial irregularities in budgeting and procurement happened more at the state and LGAs.

“It is at the grassroots level that more people are poor, there is stack illiteracy and diseases.
“If we want to emancipate our people from poverty, ignorance and diseases, it is important that we track the budget of LGAs and states,” he said.

He further said it was the job of the government to check all arms of government and keep them on their toes, to ensure that the responsibility given to them by the law is properly carried out.
He maintained that journalists owed it to the public to let them know how their commonwealth was used, so journalists needed to be grounded in budget tracking and procurement to do an effective job.

On his part, Mr. Christian Ita, Chief Press Secretary to the Cross River Governor, said the state government was delighted that Daily Trust was having its workshop in Calabar.

Represented by his deputy, Mr Linus Obogo, the press secretary said although sometimes, some journalists didn’t balance their reports before publishing, he was happy that the journalists were having hands on training.

The training, which was declared open by the chairman of the foundation, would train the media men on budget and procurement processes and data mining. (NAN)

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