PTCIJ set to launch budget tracking, fact-checking projects

The Premium Times Centre for Investigatrive Journalism, PTCIJ, has announced the upcoming launch of an online fact-checking platform, “DUBAWA” as well as an initiative focusing on Nigeria’s public procurement and budget implementation practice themed, “UDEME”.

In separate press releases signed by the Program Officer, Joshua Olufemi, PTCIJ explained that, ”DUBAWA and UDEME proposes to unmask misinformation and propaganda in the public domain and ultimately empower Nigerians with the knowledge necessary for making rational decisions as well as serve as a direct response to these problems of budget implementation accountability in Nigeria respectively.”

Part of the statements read, “Over time, the constant influx of information laden with lies and half-truths has posed a damaging implication for the journalistic process, democracy and the Nigerian citizenry. The systematic propagation of information or ideas by an interested party with the intent to influence public decisions is awash all over social media and traditional media platforms.

“As an urgent response, DUBAWA is a non-partisan verification and rating platform which seeks to make use of a multi-pronged approach towards distilling the upsurge of fake news by politicians, the media, public and advocacy figures, groups and institutions. Consequently, DUBAWA is more than just a platform for verification; it is a custodian of tools and resources that can be used by media professionals to investigate and produce fact-based reports. And it is a platform that promotes the ideals of fact-checking and integrity across newsrooms in the country.

“The Nigerian media landscape is awash with news of astonishing waste in budget resources for special and zonal intervention projects which had in the past obviously profited little to the grassroots communities they meant to serve. In the last three years, a total of 274.58 billion has been allocated to Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) across the 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal Constituencies in Nigeria.

“However, there was no commensurate output or benefit to the people of these constituencies. Reports have shown that most times, many of these projects are either abandoned or never executed even though funds were released to implement them. UDEME is thus a direct response to these problems of budget implementation accountability in Nigeria and hopes to provide a sustainable response to the overarching problems of corruption in Nigeria.”

The projects “DUBAWA” which is a Hausa term for “checking” and “UDEME” originating from the South-South and South-East parts of Nigeria and which means “My Share” are scheduled to be launched on February 20 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre.

Guest speakers at the event include Yemi Kale, the Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics and Seun Onigbinde, the Co-founder and lead partner of BudgIT.


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