Wole Soyinka Centre/Albarka FM Holds One Day Roundtable On Media Independence and Government Accountability

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The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative journalism in collaboration with Albarka 89.9 FM, Ganmo, Kwara State on Tuesday organised a one-day sensitization program on Media Independence and Government Accountability.

The sensitization program funded by the MacArthur Foundation had in attendance, 30 Journalists and Media Executivs drawn from various media houses in the state held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, hall, G.R.A Ilorin, Kwara state capital.

Speaking on the theme of the program “How Important is Legislature to the Development of Democracy” a resource person, Dr Ademola Bakare, a lecturer at the University of Ilorin spoke about the misconceptions of constituency projects, the role of the legislature and the responsibilities of the citizens.

“Legislature is the closest public office holders to the citizen and this was one of the reasons the set of lawmakers in 1999 used to advance their reasons in demanding for constituency projects funds from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which he granted them in the year 2000.

“Although the constituency projects funds at the national assembly lack constitutional backing. It is only the Lagos State House of Assembly that have passed a law to backed their constituency projects funds at their state level.

“However, people have been testifying to how it has been contributing to the development of the country in the area of basic amenities at various communities”

The University Don, also disclosed that the money meant for the constituency projects is always put under various agencies with the full knowledge of each lawmaker “funds for the constituency projects always put under different government agencies although, it’s the lawmaker that mostly nominates the contractor that they want for their constituency project which is against the procurement act”

The resource person also charged the citizens and lawmakers on the need for periodical engagement to be on the same path in terms of priority projects for each of the communities.

Meanwhile, participants were urged to give more priority to Enlightening the citizens on their roles and responsibilities under a democratic system of government.

Participants were given time to ask questions and contribute to the program.

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