The alarming and frequent rate of terrorists attacks being experienced in Nigeria in recent times has been attributed to the high level of unemployment and poverty bedevilling the nation.
ActionAid Nigeria, while lamenting the ugly trend, challenged Journalists in the country to strive to improve on their reportage by engaging in investigative journalism as a way of contributing to national development.
The Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria (AAN), Mrs Ene Obi gave the charge on Wednesday at a two-day Media Master Class on preventing Violent Extremism in Nigeria, held at Sawalino Hotel, Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The two-day training organised by AAN was an advanced media class for selected Journalists from Kogi and Nasarawa States, aimed at building the capacity of journalists to enable them initiate new trends of reportage.
Mrs Obi also charged Journalists to develop passion for their jobs by engaging in investigative journalism to expose the real facts behind their stories.
Mrs Obi who was represented by the Director, Organisational Effectiveness (AAN), Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi, said journalists can improve on their reportage by processing and analysing information to enlighten the public on issues affecting the nation, thereby creating meaningful impacts on the society.
“We want to encourage you to do more by going beyond the ordinary and improve on your job so as to make impact on the society “she added.
In a presentation, a Research Fellow/ Economist, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Dr Terfa Abraham who spoke on the topic, “Preventing Violent Extremism and Peace Building Through Budget Tracking and Monitoring” said, the revenue sources of Nigeria were unstable, saying the country’s budget was based on projection and expected revenue generation which makes it difficult to implement projects.
“The revenue sources of Nigeria which are oil and non- oil are unstable in the country as they are based on expected revenue which are often unrealistic and in reality difficult to predict the outcome,” he said.
Dr Abraham maintained that the increasing population and competing need for resources in all sectors of the economy was telling on the government, adding that it has contributed to violent extremism in Nigeria.
He charged journalists to monitor the benchmark assumptions of budget as well as follow the implementation and utilisation of projects captured in the yearly budgets, among others.
Also speaking, the Deputy Head, Investigations, Premium Times, Mr Mojeed Alabi while speaking on crafting data stories, stressed the need for Journalists to initiate new trends and create evidence stories using data to enhance clearer understanding of stories by making them audience friendly, even as he urged them to sort data as effort towards curbing violent extremist in the country.